New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday, while considering activist Gautam Navlakha’s request for house arrest, orally observed that corrupt people are destroying the country and they get away with corruption with the help of money.
Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), submitted before a bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy that people such as Navlakha, arrested in Bhima Koregaon case, want to destroy the country and alleged that he is pro-Maoist and has links with Pakistan’s ISI.
Raju alleged that they are not innocent people and involved in actual warfare, and “they want to destroy the country”.
At this, Justice Joseph remarked: “Who is destroying the country, you want me to tell… the corrupt”, adding “Every office you go into, what happens?”
“Who takes action against the corrupt?… We saw a video of people where people talk of crores of rupees to buy elected representatives.”
“Are you saying they are not doing anything against our country? The point is that you don’t defend them but they go on. They go on merrily. There are money bags which can help…,” Justice Joseph told counsel.
Raju replied that he is not defending the corrupt and contended that action should be taken against people who are corrupt.
The bench asked Raju to seek instructions and inform it about restrictions that can be placed on Navlakha while keeping him under house arrest for a few days. It further added that the court will pass the order on Thursday after hearing him.
“If he does anything, he will lose his freedom,” it said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Navlakha, submitted that medical reports show that his treatment inside the jail is not possible and his client had alarming weight loss.
During the hearing, the bench asked Raju to consider his advanced age and added that it is not releasing him on bail, and also, he is not going to enjoy the default bail which Sudha Bharadwaj got.
Raju said that there is nothing wrong with Navlakha and the authorities concerned will provide a mattress, cot, and also allow home food.
On September 29, the Supreme Court directed the Taloja Jail Superintendent to immediately shift Navlakha to Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital for treatment.
Navlakha moved the apex court challenging Bombay High Court judgment passed in April, dismissing his plea to be transferred from Taloja Prison and placed under house arrest instead. In August 2018, he was arrested and initially placed under house arrest. In April 2020, after an apex court order he was moved to Taloja Central Prison in Maharashtra.