The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it would need three days to check a location which is located around 53 kilometres away from the court complex. The court was hearing a case on the release of alleged Naxal Satyanarayan Rani and the discussion was over where he would stay after he gets out of prison.
Rani is currently locked in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail despite getting bail more than a year ago in July 2022. Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry, appearing for Rani, told the court on December 15 that the accused hails from Telangana and does not know anyone in Mumbai to furnish the surety required for his release.
Further, Chaudhry had told the court that Rani cannot pay the bail amount in cash either as he has no family members. “We are arranging a shelter for him to stay,” Chaudhry had added.
The bench had 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.
On Tuesday, Chaudhry filed an affidavit signed by Rani stating, “As I have no family members or friends in Mumbai who can stand surety for me, I continue to remain incarcerated in the prison. I am penurious and cannot afford to furnish any kind of surety.”
The affidavit added that Rani suffers from a disability in his left limb, making walking extremely painful, among other health issues.
Rani promised not to leave the jurisdiction of the NIA court and said he would be residing at Gurukrupa Vikas Sanstha in Dombivli East in Thane district.
Advocate Aruna Pai, representing the NIA, said the agency needed to check and confirm the proposed address of Rani’s residence before his release. Pai told the court the agency would need three days for this work.
The bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Gauri Godse, however, expressed surprise that the agency needed three days to check a location which is only 53 kilometres from the High Court building. Justice Dere said, “How much time does it take to go to Dombivali East? Send an officer and confirm the address.”
However, Pai insisted that time would be needed as “All NIA officers are in Delhi, some investigation is going on there.”
The bench granted NIA time until Thursday to check the address.
Rani is facing charges of conspiracy to kill 15 Quick Response Team police personnel and a civilian driver in an IED blast in Gadchiroli on May 1, 2019. He was arrested in Hyderabad along with his wife, alleged Naxalite Narmada Akka.
Narmada died from cancer at a hospice in April 2022.