A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday framed conditions for advocate activist Sudha Bharadwaj's release in accordance with the December 1 Bombay High Court order granting her default bail.
The Supreme Court's Tuesday dismissal of NIA's appeal challenging the high court order granting bail paved the way for her release today.
Special NIA judge DE Kothalikar observed that even though Bharadwaj has been granted default bail after being incarcerated for a period of three years and three months, the allegations leveled against her are grave and thus the conditions do not merit leniency.
The conditions imposed by the special court are similar to the ones laid down by the Bombay High Court when it granted bail to fellow accused P Varavara Rao.
Bail conditions imposed by the NIA court
The NIA court said Bharadwaj could be released on a bail bond of Rs. 50,000 and one or more sureties of the like amount.
Bharadwaj must stay within this court's jurisdiction. However, before her release, the NIA officers have been directed to verify the place where she will stay and the ID documents that will be submitted. The cash surety will be accepted only post-verification.
The court has banned Bharadwaj from making any statements to the media—print, electronic, or social—regarding the criminal proceedings against her.
Bharadwaj cannot contact any co-accused or any other persons involved in similar activities, and cannot even make any international phone calls, the Court said.
The order was passed special judge pursuant to the Bombay High Court's December 1 decision granting default bail to Bharadwaj.
Bharadwaj, who was arrested by the Maharashtra police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon matter, will walk out of jail after a period of three years and three months.
While granting her default bail, the high court had observed that the court which granted extension of time to probe the matter and Bharadwaj's detention under provisions of Section 43D(2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure did not have competent jurisdiction.
The high court however had rejected pleas filed by eight other co-accused who had also applied for default bail.
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