The Supreme Court reserved its order in the plea filed by Bhima Koregaon case accused Gautam Navlakha for default bail after completion of the 90-day remand period. The Bench of Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph passed the order in a plea by Navlakha seeking default bail on the ground that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to file its chargesheet within the upper limit of 90 days as prescribed under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Appearing for Navlakha, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the police had all the time to interrogate Navlakha while he was in police remand. The orders passed by the High Court granting him interim protection did not mean that the police could not interrogate him, he submitted. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju argued that the orders passed by the High Courts and the Supreme Court keeping Navlakha in custody were not orders under Section 167 CrPC. Thus, these periods cannot be counted as part of the 90-day period.
After hearing, the Court proceeded to reserve its order in the matter. The order is likely be pronounced on April 12. The High Court had further noted that during the period of house arrest, barring the lawyers and ordinary residents of the house, nobody else was allowed to meet him. NIA did not have any access to him or any occasion to interrogate him.