The Bombay High Court has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file a reply to a request for bail condition relaxation made by alleged Naxal operative Satyanarayan Rani (73), who had been granted bail by the court in July 2022 but has not been able to come out even after a year.
Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry pointed out to the bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Gauri Godse that Rani, who hails from Telangana, had been locked in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail as he did not know anyone there to furnish surety.
The bench on Friday asked if he could pay cash so that the bail condition of providing a surety could be relaxed. “What is the amount you will deposit?” Justice Dere asked.
To this, Chaudhry replied, “He is penniless. He cannot pay. He has no family members. We are arranging a shelter for him to stay.”
The bench then directed Chaudhry to get Rani to file an affidavit stating that he was penniless and would not leave the trial court’s jurisdiction without its permission.
While granting bail to Rani last year, the court had directed that he be released on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with one or two solvent sureties in the like amount. It is this condition that Rani has not been able to furnish.
The court will hear Rani’s plea again on December 19.
Satyanarayan Rani is facing charges of conspiracy to kill 15 quick response team police personnel and a civilian on May 1, 2019, in an IED blast that took place in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.
A case was registered and on June 11, 2019, he was arrested in Hyderabad along with his wife, alleged Naxalite Narmada Akka.
The police claimed that in July 2018, the accused had participated in meetings to hatch a conspiracy to avenge the death of 40 Naxalites. Narmada, however, died in April 2022 after suffering from cancer.