During the hearing on his plea seeking to be placed under house arrest, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the NIA, contended before a bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy that there is a twist in the tale.
He claimed that the medical report filed by the Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai may be tainted as Navlakha’s brother-in-law, a doctor, was part of the medical board.
The bench told Raju that it had gone through the report, which was prepared by various doctors of various disciplines and added that he is casting prejudice by pointing out that one of the doctors is related to Navlakha.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Navlakha, submitted that he was surprised and said: “What is he arguing? You first attack the man and now the doctors.”
The bench queried Raju, “You are saying that since he is related so therefore, he will give a biased reporta. It can’t be. Don’t bring it to that level.”
Sibal submitted that there are 12 doctors involved in this and asked, can anybody make a submission like this, especially the government of India? Raju said they suspect that Navlakha’s medical report might be wrong.
The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing in the second week of December and it asked the NIA to obtain a fresh medical report in the meanwhile.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Raju vehemently opposed Navlakha’s plea for being placed under house arrest saying that his health condition was not so bad.
Accepting the restriction put forward by Raju, the Supreme Court allowed Navlakha to be placed under house arrest, for a month, in view of his deteriorating health.
The top court noted that Navlakha has been in custody since April 14, 2020, and prima facie there is no reason to reject his medical report. It further added that Navlakha does not have any criminal background except this case and even the Central government had appointed him as interlocutor to hold talks with Maoists.