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Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case: SC grants 2-week interim bail to Mahesh Raut

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted two-week interim bail to Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad conspiracy case accused Mahesh Raut to attend ceremonies relating to the last rites of his deceased grandmother.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of incarceration already undergone by the applicant and also the nature of request made for the purpose, we are inclined to grant two weeks’ interim bail to the applicant, which may commence from 26th June, 2024 and end on 10th July, 2024,” said a Vacation Bench presided over by Justice Vikram Nath.

In its order, the Bench, also comprising Justice SVN Bhatti, said that the terms and conditions of release will be determined by the Special Court (NIA) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would be at liberty to request the trial court to impose such stringent conditions as may be necessary.

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Raut will have to surrender on July 10 without fail, the apex court said.

In September last year, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Raut, who has been in jail since June 6, 2018 for his alleged links with Maoists.

However, a Division Bench of Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh of the High Court deferred implementation of its order for a week after the anti-terror agency sought a stay for filing a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.

On an appeal filed by the NIA, the Supreme Court had passed several interim orders that the bail granted to Raut will not be given effect till further orders.

In July 2023, the top court had granted bail to two other accused — Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, who were in jail since August 2018.

The case pertains to inciting people and giving provocative speeches during the Elgar Parishad organised by the activists of Kabir Kala Manch at Shaniwarwada in Maharashtra’s Pune on December 31, 2017, which allegedly promoted enmity between various caste groups and led to violence resulting in loss of life and property and a statewide agitation in Maharashtra.

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