Gautam Navlakha, accused of having links to Maoists and Pakistan's spy agency ISI, today withdrew from the Supreme Court his application seeking to be shifted to Delhi from Mumbai under house arrest.

Navlakha is under house arrest in Mumbai in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case. On November 10 last year, the 70-year-old was allowed by the apex court to be placed under house arrest owing to his deteriorating health.

His application, seeking to be shifted to Delhi, came up for hearing on Friday before a bench of Justice K M Joseph and Justice B V Nagarathna. "Dismissed as withdrawn," the bench said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed Navlakha's application. Senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, appearing for the activist, told the bench that Navlakha will look for some other place to stay in Mumbai. She said she would withdraw the application.

Trashing NIA's apprehensions, the apex court had on November 18 last year ordered that Navlakha be placed under house arrest "without fail" within 24 hours. The bench, however, had ordered some additional security measures to be put in place at the building where Navlakha was to be kept under house arrest.

Prior to that, on November 15 last year, the apex court had cleared the hurdle for his release from Navi Mumbai's Taloja prison, where he was lodged in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, by waiving the requirement of a solvency certificate for availing the benefit of house arrest.

Noting that the activist was in custody since April 14, 2020 and prima facie there was no reason to reject his medical report, the apex court had on November 10, 2022 said Navlakha does not have any criminal background except for this case and even the Government of India had appointed him as an interlocutor to hold talks with Maoists.

Putting a number of conditions, including a deposit of Rs 2.4 lakh as expenses towards providing him security, the top court had said the order to place the activist under house arrest for a month in Mumbai should be implemented within 48 hours.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 which the police claim triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

With PTI Inputs