Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case: SC grants bail to activist Shoma Kanti Sen

While on bail, Sen shall report to SHO of the police station, within whose jurisdiction she shall reside, once every fortnight

Shoma Kanti Sen (photo: National Herald archives)
Shoma Kanti Sen (photo: National Herald archives)


The Supreme Court on Friday, 5 April, granted bail to academic activist Shoma Kanti Sen, who was arrested in June 2018 in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

A bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih directed that she be released on bail on such conditions as the special court may consider fit and proper.

It said the conditions shall include that Sen shall not leave the state of Maharashtra without the permission of the special court.

"The appellant (Sen) shall inform the investigation officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) about the address where she shall reside during the period she remains enlarged on bail," the bench said while pronouncing the order.

It said she shall use only one mobile phone number during the bail period and share it with the investigating officer.

"The appellant shall also ensure that the mobile remains active and charged round the clock so that she remains constantly accessible throughout the period she remains enlarged on bail," it said.

"During this period, that is the period during which she remains on bail, the appellant shall keep the location status, that is GPS of her mobile phone, active 24 hours a day and her phone shall be paired with that of the investigating officer of the NIA to enable him at any given time to identify the appellant's exact location," the bench said.

It directed that while on bail, Sen shall report to the station house officer of the police station, within whose jurisdiction she shall reside, once every fortnight.

"In the event there is breach of any of these conditions or any other conditions that may be imposed by the special court independently, it would be open for the prosecution to seek cancellation of bail granted to the appellant before the special court…," the bench said.

Sen, an English literature professor and women's rights activist, was arrested in connection with the case on 6 June 2018.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31 December 2017 which police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts.

The Pune Police had claimed that the conclave was backed by Maoists.

The probe in the case, in which more than a dozen activists and academicians have been named as accused, was transferred to the NIA.

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