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NIA Strongly Opposes Interim Bail Plea For Elgar Parishad Accused Shoma Kanti Sen

Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for NIA, told a bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Augustine George Masih that a medical board can be constituted to verify Sen's medical condition and there is nothing which requires immediate treatment.

National Investigation Agency (NIA)
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The NIA Thursday strongly opposed Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case accused Shoma Kanti Sen's plea seeking interim bail on health grounds, saying she was suffering from general ailments and there was nothing special about it.

Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for NIA, told a bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Augustine George Masih that a medical board can be constituted to verify Sen's medical condition and there is nothing which requires immediate treatment.

"The medical report shows that these are general ailments and there is nothing special about it. If required, we will constitute a medical board to ascertain her health condition," Nataraj said after the bench expressed inclination to grant medical bail.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Sen, said she has been in jail for over five years and suffering from various ailments.

The additional solicitor general vehemently opposed any relief to Sen and said he was ready to argue the main matter relating to bail. The top court then said it will hear the matter on December 6.

The apex court had earlier sought responses from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Maharashtra on an application by Sen seeking interim bail on health grounds.

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

The apex court was hearing Sen's plea challenging the January 17 order of the Bombay High Court which had directed her to approach the special NIA court for bail.

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

The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.

The high court had dealt with Sen's plea challenging the November 2019 order passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, rejecting her bail application. She had claimed before the high court that she was falsely implicated in the case. 

"As noted in an order dated December 2, 2022, the investigation of the present crime was subsequently transferred to the National Investigation Agency in the month of January 2020, i.e. after passing of the impugned order," the high court had noted in its January 17 order.

"It is to be noted here that, after the NIA filed the supplementary charge sheet, in view of the substantive change in circumstance, the applicant (Sen) did not approach the trial court at the first instance for appreciation of evidence by it," it had said.

The high court had said the petitioner needed to approach the trial court afresh to seek bail so that the trial court could get an opportunity to assess the entire material available on record against her. 

It had disposed of the bail application and granted her liberty to approach the trial court for relief.

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

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