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SC sets aside Delhi HC order for Navlakha transfer record


Gautam Navlakha _file


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has set aside the Delhi High Court order, directing the NIA investigating officer to produce the entire set of records in connection with the production warrant and extension of social activist Gautam Navlakha's judicial remand in the Bhima Koregaon case.

Allowing the NIA appeal, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee passed directions to expunge the remarks made by the Delhi High Court against the NIA during the hearing of Navlakha's bail plea. The NIA had moved the top court, challenging the High Court's May direction, which made a prima facie observation that the investigating agency acted in haste to move out him from the jurisdiction of the Delhi court.

The top court noted that the Delhi High Court should not have entertained the interim bail plea of Navlakha in the case, as the matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, contended before the top court that Navlakha's surrender happened in pursuance with the top court order while Delhi was under lockdown. Later, the NIA moved the special court in Mumbai to request issuance of a production warrant as Navlakha was in judicial custody in Tihar jail, added Mehta.

He submitted that Navlakha was produced before the special court in Mumbai, based on the production warrant and the Delhi High Court was informed about it.

Navlakha was taken to Mumbai after lifting of the lockdown, added Mehta.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Navlakha, contended that the High Court did not grant bail or any other relief, and instead, simply asked the officer concerned to file an affidavit.

Reiterating that the Delhi High Court should not have entertained this matter, the bench told Sibal that he could have come to this court or moved the NIA court in Mumbai.

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