Delhi High Court releases activist from house arrest

Quashes transit remand for Navlakha given by lower court The Delhi High Court on Monday set free journalist and social activist Gautam Navlakha from house arrest, quashing a local court order granting transit remand to the Maharashtra police to transfer him to Pune in connection with Koregaon-Bhima violence case. A Bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said the transit remand was given by the local court without compliance of mandatory provisions of the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Grounds of arrest The Bench refused to accept the submission of the Maharashtra police that his house arrest was extended by two days since the Supreme Court had extended it by four weeks. While setting aside the local court’s remand order, the High Court said the judge had overlooked that under the provisions of the Constitution, an arrested person has to be given grounds of arrest, and mere intimation of arrest to his partner or friend will not suffice. The Bench also remarked that the appearance of the legal aid counsel for Mr Navlakha was “cosmetic” and not in true spirit of Article 21 and the provision of the Legal Services Authority Act. It pointed out that the trial court judge would not have understood the documents produced by the Maharastra police while seeking Mr Navlakha’s remand as they were in Marathi. The court, however, said the Maharashtra police could proceed further case against Mr. Navlakha by following the laid down norms.

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