Not at this stage: SC on activist Akhil Gogoi’s bail plea

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to entertain a plea by farmers’ rights activist Akhil Gogoi in a case pertaining to anti-CAA protests in Assam in 2019.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that it is not willing to grant bail at this stage to Gogoi — in jail since December 2019 — in the light of charges against him.

Gogoi’s was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act amid large-scale anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in Assam.

During the hearing, Gogoi’s counsel Jaideep Gupta submitted that protests on large scale took place against the CAA, and that the issue should not be connected with terrorism at all.

Gupta emphasised that there were some instances of violence at some places but there was no evidence to suggest that his client was responsible. The Senior Advocate added that prima facie it did not amount to an act of terrorism.

The bench replied that it cannot grant bail to him right now and that he could file another plea later. “Let the trial proceed. Courts have started functioning now,” it said.

Gogoi’s bail was earlier rejected by the Gauhati High Court, which was challenged by him in the top court.