July 17, 2024
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Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail to Bhima Koregaon Accused Mahesh Raut

The Supreme Court has granted interim bail to Mahesh Raut, an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case, for two weeks to attend his late grandmother’s rituals. The decision came after Raut approached the apex court against a June 5 order by the NIA special court in Mumbai, which denied him interim bail. A vacation bench of Justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti ordered the bail to commence from June 26, allowing Raut to participate in ceremonies scheduled for the end of June and early July. He is required to surrender on July 10.

Raut’s application emphasized the adverse impact on his physical and mental well-being if he were unable to attend the mourning rituals. Advocate Aparna Bhatt, representing Raut, highlighted the need for his presence at the ceremonies on June 29-30 and July 5-6. Despite the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) objection due to the serious charges against him, the Supreme Court balanced competing concerns, allowing the NIA to request stringent bail conditions from the trial court to prevent misuse of the granted liberty.

Arrested in June 2018, Raut is accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence, which resulted in one death. Though the Bombay High Court granted him bail in September 2022, the Supreme Court extended the stay on this order following an appeal by the NIA. Raut remains lodged in Taloja jail, Maharashtra, pending further legal proceedings.

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