After CJI, Justice Gavai recuses from hearing Gautam Navlakha’s plea

The top court said his plea would be listed before another bench on October 3 | PTI/File

A day after Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi recused himself from hearing civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha’s appeal to quash an FIR filed against him in the Bhima-Koregaon case, Justice B R Gavai too recused himself on Tuesday (October 1).

Navlakha’s plea came up for hearing on Tuesday before a three-judge bench comprising justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai.

The top court said his plea would be listed before another bench on October 3.

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The Maharashtra government had earlier filed a caveat in the matter seeking to be heard before any orders are passed.

On September 13, the Bombay high court had refused to invalidate the FIR lodged against him in the 2017 Koregaon-Bhima case and for having alleged links with maoists, noting that there was prima facie substance in the case. Considering the magnitude of the case, the high court wanted a thorough investigation.

Also read: After War and Peace remark, Bhima-Koregaon case judge clears air

The Bombay high court on September 13 had extended Navlakha’s interim relief from arrest in the case for three weeks, allowing him to appeal in the top court.

The FIR was lodged against Navlakha and others by the Pune Police in January 2018 after the Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017 that had allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune district the next day.

The police has also alleged that Navlakha and others accused in the case had Maoist links and were working towards overthrowing the government.

Navlakha and the other accused were booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code.

Besides Navlakha, four others — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj, are accused in the case.

(With inputs from agencies)

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