Bhima Koregaon Case: Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira walk out of Taloja Jail after five years
Completing the necessary procedures on Saturday, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira have been released from Taloja Jail. The activists, Gonsalves and Ferreira, were arrested by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in August 2018 in connection with the Elgar Parishad case. The Supreme Court granted bail to both of them, stating that they had already spent five years in jail and that the NIA failed to prove their guilt.
With Gonsalves and Ferreira’s release, five out of the 16 accused are now out on bail, while one accused, Father Stan Swamy, died in July 2021 while in judicial custody. On July 28th, the Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia granted bail to the accused.
The bench noted that merely possessing certain literature through which violent acts could potentially be propagated would not automatically trigger the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. “Because almost five years have elapsed, we are satisfied they have made out a case for bail. The allegations are serious, no doubt, but that alone cannot be a reason to deny bail,” the bench stated.
The court instructed the accused to obtain permission from the trial court before leaving Maharashtra and to surrender their passports. Additionally, the accused were directed to provide NIA with details of their residences.
Activist-lawyer Anand Teltumde, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, and poet Varavara Rao were already out on bail in this case.