The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the responses of the Maharashtra government and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea filed by activist Jyoti Jagtap, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, challenging a Bombay High Court order declining her bail.
”Issue notice. List in the 2nd week of July, 2023,” the bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia said. Jagtap has moved the top court challenging the October 17, 2022 order of the high court which had refused to grant her bail saying the NIA’s case against her was ”prima facie true” and that she was part of a ”larger conspiracy” hatched by the banned outfit CPI (Maoist).
The high court had said Jagtap, an active member of Leftist group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), gave ”aggressive and highly provocative slogans” during a play at the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave on December 31, 2017 in Pune. ”We are of the considered opinion there are reasonable grounds for believing the allegations/accusations of the NIA against appellant (Jagtap) having conspired, attempted, advocated and abetted the commission of a terrorist act as prima facie true,” the court had said.
According to the NIA, KKM is a front organisation of the banned terror outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist).
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The 2017 Elgar Parishad conclave was held at Shaniwarwada, an 18th century palace-fort located in the heart of Pune city.
Jagtap, accused of singing and raising provocative slogans at the conclave along with other KKM members, was arrested in September 2020 and has been lodged at the Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai since then.
According to investigators, provocative speeches that were allegedly made at the conclave triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima on the outskirts of Pune on January 1, 2018.
Out of the 16 people arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist Link case, Father Stan Swamy died at a private hospital in Mumbai while in judicial custody. Two other veteran social activists Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao are out on bail.