A Special NIA court in Mumbai has rejected the default bail plea of Shoma Sen and four other accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case and held they made no effort for hearing of the application that was filed way back in 2018.

They have not put forth any explanation for not moving the application for hearing for such a long time and cannot claim benefits of their own wrong, the Court added.

Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) judge Rajesh Katariya had, on Tuesday, rejected the default bail plea of Professor Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, activist Rona Wilson, advocate Surendra Gadling and Mahesh Raut. The detailed order was made available on Friday.

The accused had originally filed the application for default bail in 2018 at a sessions court in Pune when the case was being probed by the local police.

The accused, in their plea, had claimed the 90-day extension granted by the sessions court to file the charge sheet in the case was "illegal", and hence, they were entitled for default bail under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provisions.

Thereafter, in 2019, the accused had filed application seeking the relief of default bail on the ground that the court was did not have the competence to take cognizance against them. This application was rejected by the Pune court and later the Bombay High Court too refused their claim for grant of default bail.

The special NIA Court held the ground on which the present applicants (filed in 2018 before Pune court) were seeking default bail was already considered and decided by the High Court.

"The applicants have no proprietary right to raise and agitate the same ground in the present application," the judge said.

The Court further held the applications were filed way back in 2018 and the record showed no efforts were made by the applicants for the hearing of the present application either before the Pune court or before the NIA court after the matter was transferred to Mumbai.

The applicants have not put forth any explanation for not moving present applications for hearing for such a long time and they cannot take benefits of their own wrong, the Court added.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.

The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The probe in the case, in which more than a dozen activists and academicians have been named as accused, was later transferred to the NIA.

With PTI inputs