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Nov 10 93 tweets 11 min read
[Bhima Koregaon Case]
#SupremeCourt hears accused Gautam Navlakha's plea seeking house arrest.
ASG Raju tells court that there is a twist in the story as the medical report submitted for Navlakha appears to be tainted.
ASG: The doctor is related to him.
Court: The report is by 5-6 doctors, you cant say such a thing.
Court: This radiology report is based on scientific experiment; you cannot say that it is tainted.
ASG: Sometimes a report of X person is given for Y person.
Court is told that Navlakha wanted to go to Jaslok Hospital only.
Court: This recommendation for physiotherapy is by Kothari (Navlakha's relative)?
Sr Adv Kapil Sibal: Yes it appears to be...
ASG: If his medical condition is bad, I will never object but Navlakha should not be assessed by his brother-in-law...
Why only Jaslok Hospital, if his condition is bad, he can go to any hospital...
Court: Yes we have heard you, we will put it to the other side and ask for their response.
Court: We had asked you for something yesterday,,,
ASG: Yes the conditions for house arrest, we have a few...
There is also one thing I would like to submit
ASG: Look at his conduct also, he insisted for Jaslok Hospital...
Justice Roy: Mr Raju dont repeat these things, unless you think we have not understood you...
ASG: I have some case laws also...
Court: We want to hear you on the logistical issues that will arise, how do we regulate house arrest..
ASG: He wanted to stay with his sister...he can stay there. As far his walking is concerned, he can use a treadmill.
Court: After 55, I can tell from personal experience, the knee becomes weak, so best thing is natural walking...
So we are concerned about the place he is...
Court discusses with ASG Raju about the kind of BP problems Navlakha has and what kind of exercise he should be put to do.
ASG Raju informs court about conditions to be put on Navlakha.
1. A platoon of policemen to be deployed at his house..
Court: You are giving too much physical prowess to a 70 year old.
2. No phone, laptop or internet.
3. Local surety.
4. Not be allowed to leave Mumbai
5. Only one family member allowed at a time to visit.
6. CCTV camera to be installed.
7. House to be screened.
Court: We are treading on rights of third parties, the sister that he will be living with..its her house.
Court: What about him needing to go to a hospital? He will have to notify you..
What else do you want? He will have no phone, what if someone calls him up, Sibal says you can hear in on the calls...
ASG: We dont know milord, calls could be coded..
ASG: One more condition that he will not talk to any witnesses..
Court: Of course not.
ASG: And not do any illegal activities, no media interactions..
Court: We want to know, any person in jail, can he give interview, is it prohibited or regulated...
ASG: Prohibited.
Court: What if someone wants to do a psychological evaluation..
ASG: Permission needs to be taken from court.
Court: Is he permitted to walk outside the house?
Court: What if he is required to?
ASG: We can see house plan and decide?
Court ask Sibal on the allegation of bias in the reports given by Navlakha's brother-in-law.
Sibal: There are 12 doctors in total, they have taken an oath
Sibal: Medical reports are not based on individual opinions, without reference to scientific investigation.
There can be no manipulations of the physical conditions which are reflected through medical records and are confirmed by examination of the patient.
Sibal: There are other doctors involved too, this opposition by ASG is irrational.
Court: How many witnesses are there?
Sibal: There are all forensic witnesses... Charges are not framed. Chargesheet filed on 9th October 2020.
Sibal: If he is not allowed to have a phone, it will be a problem, his sister has a 42 year old challenged child..
Court: What is the sister's house like?
Sibal: It is a 2bhk
Court: Any other place in Bombay where he can stay, tell us today, we will have to pass the orders today.
Sibal: Number 2, they can provide him a mobile phone.
Court: That is what ASG was saying.
ASG: We will give him a phone, he can make one call a day.
Sibal: Lawyers can also visit him, once a week, he needs to be advised.
Court: See you have to understand the nature of the crime, it is a serious crime, he may send something through the lawyer
ASG: As per rules of prison, lawyer can visit once a week.
ASG: One lawyer, not a battery of lawyers...
Sibal: Lawyers are also suspects nowadays..
ASG: Family members will be allowed as per jail mandates.
Sibal: There is a partner that lives with him
Sibal: CCTV cameras can be on every door and entryway.. not inside
Justice Roy: Any misuse of the privilege of house arrest will be taken into account by the court, so if he is found using a phone, we will take action.
ASG: What i am suggesting is preventive action..
Court: There is no CCTV in the bathrooms, what if he makes a call from there, we are not suggesting you to do anything about it (laughs)
Court: Ok so there can be one phone call a day..
ASG: yes, one call a day, for three minutes
Court: make it five minutes.. so no communicating device with him
ASG: They can give a list of persons who will be allowed to visit him, but not a lengthy one..
Sibal: Why should there be a CCTV inside, I don't understand, he is sleeping, he is getting up
Court: In a prison cell..?
ASG: Yes there are CCTVs inside
Sibal: There is a partner living with him.
Court discusses.
Court: Place it outside the room, they are agreeable to that...
Sibal: There is a living in partner, she is 70, she is a lady..
Court: There is 70 year old lady, what are you going to capture in there.
Court: We will give you the numbers of others, you can do surveillance...
ASG: He can use Whatsapp and Telegram to make calls and then delete them.
Sibal: He will use an old Nokia phone
Sibal: This is a violation of privacy.. it cant be to this extent. The partner will have a basic phone, they can monitor it, but they cant have a CCTV.
Court: Without internet they cannot use Whatsapp..
ASG: If he stays with sister, we will alow a phone.
Court: No, he is going to stay with his partner..
ASG: Milord we know how in Kashmir without internet things happen...things are going beyond house arrest now.
Court: Tell us where he is going to reside
Sibal: I will give address.
Bench discusses.
Sibal: There is a house of Naresh Patil...
Sibal: There is one room, one kitchen, a bathroom and a small area..its on the first floor. Ground floor is a public library
Court: The public will be using that library, then they will have to search everyone...
Sibal: The access to the flat is different..
Court: You have to tell us so that we can do an inspection.
Sibal: Whatever security they want, they can check it out.
ASG: We can check it out and come back tomorrow.
Sibal: No no, order should be passed today.
Court discusses about who would bear the expenses of providing security.
Court: Is there a figure you have in mind?
ASG: The state of Maharashtra will provide the number.
Court: Three persons are more than enough
Court asks Counsel for Maharashtra to take instructions and inform about the costs of security to be provided for Navlakha.
Court: What is the monthly pay of a constable? It depends on time bound also..
ASG: Salary is Rs. 38,000
Court: So for six persons it becomes Rs. 2,40,000, you deposit that and then we will see.
ASG: Yes, but further medical reports will not be based on Jaslok.
Court starts dictating Order.
Court: By impugned order, HC has refused request to place Navlakha under house arrest. A chargesheet has been filed by NIA on 9th October, 2020. No charges have been framed. The petitioner stands accused along with 15 others.
Court: Chargesheet shows that petitioner has been arraigned under various sections of UAPA. He has been in Taloja Jail, Navi Mumbai. The HC has refused him house arrest by finding that the case does not fit in under the criterions.
Order: When this case came up, the plea that the petitioner is afflicted with many ailments, he was referred to Jaslok Hospital for evaluation. A report has been received from Jaslok Hospital. The report dated 7th October 2022 is referred to...
Order: There are other reports dated 10th October and 17th October. It is the case of the petitioner that this is an appropriate case where he should be placed under house arrest. Our attention is drawn to the multiple medical problems that he has.
Order: Trial of the case is unlikely to take place in the near future and the charges have also not been framed till now.
Court: ASG Raju has stoutly opposed the plea for house arrest. We have been told that the charges against him are serious and some records have been received from the computer of the petitioner.
Court: ASG has further pointed out that the medical report does not justify extending the pleasure of house arrest to the accused petitioner. He has also pointed out that the medical report has been given by Dr. Kothari, the brother-in-law of the petitioner.
Court: We have been told that the petitioner pressed on being taken to Jaslok Hospital.
Court: In the absence of the medical report, ASG says there is no case made out for granting house arrest. ASG points out difficulties that may arise if house arrest is granted.
Court: Today, the ASG has put forth the following restrictions on granting house arrest-
1. No interaction with media
2. Cannot talk to witnesses.
3. No illegal actions.
Court: Mr Sibal has said that there was no bias on behalf of Dr. Kothari and the medical evaluation has been carried out by medical evaluation, which has also been carried out by other doctors.
Court: Mr Sibal takes objection to putting CCTV cameras inside the rooms.
Court: He points out that this would be violation of privacy of the petitioner's companion, one lady named Sahiba Hussain who is about 71 years old. He submits that the companion will be allowed to use only a basic mobile phone without any internet facilities, which may have SMS
Court: Most importantly, Sibal has told that he has no problem in surveillance of the mobile phone.
Court: The ASG has agreed that Navlakha will be allowed once a day to make a call for five minutes.
ASG objects about the companion, says she is also old and god forbid something happens to her.
ASG: Also, in jails males and females are not allowed to mingle.
Court: Do you know concept of open jails?
ASG: They are for convicts.
Court: The observation of the High Court on the age of the petitioner, we are a little mystified as to why they did not take it into account.
Court: There are multiple health related issues. The case of ASG on the presence of Dr Kothari does not appeal to us as there were other doctors present and Dr Kothari is a medical professional.
ASG: Please leave this aspect open, so that we can use this in the further proceeding
Court: We are just justifying our view, we will say prima facie..
Court: Petitioner may not be unjustified for making a request for house arrest. The charges have not been framed, it is quite unlikely how the case will reach culmination in the forseeable future.
Court: We must also remind ourselves that the petitioner was under house arrest on a previous occasion and there was no violations from him.
Court: It is not in dispute that the petitioner does not have any criminal background. Also, in 2011 the petitioner was used by the government to mediate with the Maoists to secure the release of security personnel kidnapped by Maoists.
BREAKING: #SupremeCourtOfIndia allows Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, to be placed under house arrest within 48 hours.
Court: He will have to deposit Rs. 2,40,000 approximately to facilitate the appointment of security personnel for placing him under house arrest.
Court: A Demand Draft should be submitted to the Commissioner of Police.
Court: This facility of house arrest will be subject to the further following conditions:
The petitioner will not use any laptop, phone of communicating device. He will however be permitted to use a mobile phone provided by the personnel on duty.
ORDER: He will be allowed to talk on phone for 10 minutes. Otherwise, the petitioner shall not use any other phone, including the phone of his companion.
ASG: The companions' phone should also be deposited with us..
Justice Roy: She will be allowed to use a stupid phone, not a smart phone
Court: The companion shall not delete any details about phone call or SMS. The petitioner will not be allowed to leave Mumbai.
Court: The petitioner will not be allowed to meet more than two family members on same terms as provided to jail inmates.
Court: CCTV camera will be installed at the expense of the petitioner at the entrance and exit and outside the rooms. CCTV to be maintained by petitioner
Court: Before the petitioner is allowed to enter into house arrest, the house will be screened. No electronic gadgets such as phone, Ipad, laptop, shall be permitted, even when visitors are allowed.
No internet based TV cannot be installed. Newspapers can be allowed.
Court: Petitioner is permitted to read books.
ASG: He cannot go to library and get them.
Court: Petitioner shall not influence the witnesses in any manner, he will not commit any illegal act.
Court: On the issue of permitting him to walk, we have no idea of the structure, so can he walk along with the security outside..
The petitioner is permitted to walk outside, if he wants to, once a day.
ASG: He will not meet or talk to anybody during those walks. Let it be clear Milord.
Court: Petitioner will not engage in conversations with anyone during those walks. Petitioner shall also have access to one lawyer, give us a name.
Court: The petitioner shall forward the name of the lawyers to the first respondent in three days.
This order shall remain in force for one month and after this the Court will reconsider the arrangement.
Court: Needless to say, that the order is passed on the facts of this case. List the matter in second week of December.
We will hear again on 13th of December.
Court: In the event of any medical emergency, arrangements can be made at a suitable hospital, we are not asking you to take him to Jaslok.
ASG: Next medical examination not to be done at Jaslok Hospital.
Court: In view of the doubts expressed by the ASG over the presence of Dr. Kothari, we direct that the petitioner be taken to KEM Hospital for his medical examination, before the next date of hearing and report be procured before the next date of hearing.
Court: We observe that the petitioner and his companion should scrupulously adhere to all the conditions. Any violation may entail immediate cancellation of the grant of house arrest.
Court: The petitioner shall give a local surety of 2 lacs within three days.
Police officers shall cooperate if he is to be taken to a hospital.

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