Advocate Surendra Gadling/ X
The Supreme Court granted the Maharashtra government an additional week to respond to advocate Surendra Gadling's bail petition in connection with the 2016 Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case. Given the extensive records in the case, Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih granted the state government's request for more time. The next hearing has been set for two weeks later, stated an agency report.
Previously, on October 10, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the state government in this regard. Previously, on January 31, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court denied Gadling bail, citing the prima facie validity of the charges against him, the report added.
On December 25, 2016, Maoists allegedly set fire to 76 vehicles transporting iron ore from the Surajgarh mines in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district. Gadling is accused of assisting Maoists at the grassroots level and participating in a conspiracy with several co-accused, some of whom have fled.
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Gadling is charged with terrorism-related offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code. According to the prosecution, he shared confidential information about government activities as well as maps of specific regions with underground Maoist rebels. He is also accused of encouraging Maoists to oppose the operations of the Surjagarh mines and inciting locals to join the movement.
Gadling is also involved in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, which involves alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017. The police claim that the following day, violence broke out near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district.
Gadling had moved Bombay High Court seeking 'default' bail or bail on technical grounds in the Elgar Parishad case earlier this year. A special NIA court had rejected his plea in June 2022.
Reportedly, he originally filed for default bail in 2018 in the Pune sessions court when Pune Police was investigating the case. Gadling in his plea had stated that the accused was entitled to bail under the Code of Criminal Procedure since the 90-day extension granted by the Pune court to the cops for filing a charge sheet was illegal.
Gadling was arrested with 15 other persons among whom was Jesuit priest Stan Swamy who died at a private hospital while in judicial custody pending trial.