Elgar case: Bombay HC refuses to grant bail to DU professor Hany Babu
The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the bail plea filed by Delhi University's associate professor Hany Babu, who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case
The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the bail plea filed by Delhi University's associate professor Hany Babu, who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
A division bench of Justices N M Jamdar and N R Borkar said the appeal filed by Babu against the special court order refusing him bail was dismissed.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a probe into the case, has accused Babu of being a co-conspirator in propagating Maoist activities and ideology on the instructions of leaders of the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation.
Hany Babu was arrested in July 2020 in the case and is currently lodged at the Taloja prison in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held in Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts.
One person was killed and several others were injured in the violence.
The case, in which over a dozen activists and academicians had been named accused, was initially probed by the Pune police and later taken over by the NIA.
Hany Babu approached the HC in June this year, challenging an order of the special NIA court here which rejected his bail plea earlier this year.
Babu in his plea said the special court had "erred" in holding that there existed prima facie incriminating material against him.
In his petition filed through advocates Yug Chaudhary and Payoshi Roy, Babu said while the NIA had cited a letter speaking of a conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi as evidence in the case, the alleged letter did not incriminate him.
There existed no evidence to even suggest that he intended to or supported activities to cause disaffection against India, the plea said.
The NIA had opposed the bail plea, arguing that Babu actively participated in activities to promote Naxalism and wanted to overthrow the government.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing for the NIA, had claimed Babu was a member of the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) and the prosecution seized material from his laptop to show he was in constant contact with other accused in the case.
Hany Babu wanted to promote and expand Naxalism and was part of the conspiracy to wage a war against India by overthrowing the elected government, Singh said.
He along with others wanted to set up "Janata Sarkar" i.e. people's government by arms struggle, Singh had told the court.
The ASG had also argued that Babu used to train other members of the outfit on how to avoid phone tapping.
The agency concluded its arguments on August 29, stating that Babu’s activities amount to terrorist acts and the question of granting release on bail to someone charged with such a serious offence does not arise, therefore the plea be dismissed, reported Express
However, in his rejoinder, advocate Chaudhry submitted for Babu that his client cannot be prosecuted when no terrorist act is committed by him or alleged against him and he cannot be tried under the UAPA. Chaudhry added that the trial in the case will take a long time, the applicant had been in jail for over two years, and since there is no threat of him absconding or tampering with the evidence, denial of bail would be “cruel” and “perverse”. The detailed court judgment will be made available in due course.