Bhima Koregaon: Bombay HC turns down plea by 8 accused seeking rectification of order refusing default bail

The application was filed by Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira

Bombay HC
Bombay HC

NH Web Desk

The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to intervene in a plea by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case seeking a rectification of the 'factual errors' in the order refusing default bail to them.

The eight accused had been refused bail by the High Court on December 1 while another co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj had been granted bail.

The High Court in its December 1 order, while demarcating Bharadwaj's plea from the other eight, had noted that Bharadwaj’s application for default bail was pending on the date the application for extension of time to file the chargesheet was made.

The present application by the eight accused, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, stated that the reason for granting bail to Bharadwaj was a common order which included names of Gonsalves, Rao and Ferreira.

The application stated that the statutory bail of all these accused first came to be rejected by Pune Sessions Court by a common order. The date of the arrest of the accused was common and hence they were all at par.

"The accused 6 to 8 have been denied the same relief as accorded to accused 9 on account of factual error," the application said.

For the remaining five accused, the applications had been filed in 2018 and was pending in the Pune Sessions Court before it was transferred to the NIA Court, Mumbai.

Advocate Sudeep Pasbola appearing for the accused, however, stated on Thursday that in light of Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which restricted the Court from altering or reviewing its judgment after it is signed "except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error", the present application for "speaking to minutes" would not lie, as per a Bar & Bench report.

He proposed to the Court to pass an order disposing of the precipe and then the accused will move the Court with a plea seeking a review of the order.

"What we have sought for cannot be granted through speaking to the minutes. There is a judgment which says that review is permissible," Pasbola submitted seeking liberty from the Court to file review.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh stated that while the application could be withdrawn, "they could always file review, even though it is not maintainable".

A Bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar clarified that there was no requirement for liberty from the Court.

"We need not grant you any liberty. If review is maintainable, then that can be filed. These are not just "factual errors", we have made observations based on those facts," the Bench added.

"What the applicants are seeking cannot be done through a precipe for speaking to minutes. Hence, the present proceeding is disposed of," the Bench recorded.

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