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Delhi HC puts hearing on Gautam Navlakha case on hold in light of SC order

By Chennabasaveshwar

New Delhi, Aug 29: In the light of the Supreme Court order staying the transit remand for Gautam Navlakha and others, the Delhi High Court said that it was not appropriate to proceed forward with the order.

While hearing the plea, the Delhi High Court questioned Maharashtra Police's counsel why the arrest memo of Gautam Navlakha was in Marathi.

Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha at his residence after he was arrested by the Pune police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, in New Delhi

Justice Muralidhar J, said, "This is a very practical aspect of the matter. If the grounds of arrest are in Marathi, how will the person understand the reasons for his arrest."

Also, the court questioned the credibility of the witnesses to Gautam Navlakha arrest.

"A witness should either be family members or respectable members of the locality.. it can't be someone who accompanies the police, said the court.

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However, ASG Aman Lekhi, counsel for Maharashtra Police, said, "All efforts were made to let Gautam Navlakha understand the reason behind his arrest."

"Every minute that a person spends in custody is a matter of concern", said the court.

The Maharashtra Police submitted that translated documents of the case were not ready. The court had asked the counsel for police to file the documents till 12 noon today.

Gautam Navlakha was arrested on Tuesday for alleged unlawful activities.

The court had directed that Navlakha should not be taken away from Delhi till it hears the matter as specific allegations against him were unclear as the documents were in Marathi.

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Meanwhile, heavy security was deployed outside activist Navlakha's residence following the Delhi High Court order. The Nehru Enclave residence of the activist has been heavily barricaded with no outsider being allowed inside the premises.

Navlakha is engaged in the longstanding activism by the People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi as a veteran activist. He is also an editorial consultant of the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW).

(With PTI inputs)

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