Ground Report | Mumbai: Sudha Bharadwaj’s daughter; The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file an affidavit by July 3 on the bail application of Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case. Bharadwaj was arrested on August 28, 2018, and has been in jail since then. A case was registered against her and some other activists under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
On June 11, Sudha Bharadwaj had approached the Bombay High Court for default bail. Bharadwaj, while seeking bail, had argued that the trial court judge was not empowered to take cognizance of the 2019 chargesheet filed against her as the judge was not a special judge under the NIA Act to hear cases related to UAPA at that time.
Sudha Bharadwaj, in her petition, based on documents obtained from the High Court under the Right to Information Act, argued that Pune Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Vadane was not empowered to take cognizance of the 1,800-page supplementary chargesheet filed by Pune Police in February 2019. (Sudha Bharadwaj’s daughter)
However, according to the Indian Express, advocate Sandesh Patil, appearing for the NIA, opposed the plea and said that since the investigation has been taken over by the central agency, the complaints against the state police are not a maintainable stage. And he sought two weeks to file a reply. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamdar on Tuesday directed NIA counsel Sandesh Patil to file an affidavit in response to the petition and fixed July 3 for the next hearing.
Daughter Maaysha has written a letter reflecting the life she has spent away from her. Ms. Bharadwaj said in her letter, “Today, two years ago, the mother was arrested. Things were different when she was under house arrest, I could see her, touch her, talk to her. But after taking her to jail, I feel like my heart is torn apart. I am finding it very difficult to contain myself. I cried for months after her arrest.”
Ms. Bharadwaj, who lives alone in Faridabad, writes, “When I used to visit her in a Pune court, I used to see him as a criminal, being shielded by the police and constantly surrounded by him. It was a painful sight. I don’t know how she is coping in prison. Once I tried to hug him inside the court but a policeman mercilessly grabbed my hand. I got very angry, but mom was still patient and nice with him.”
“When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and prisoners were allowed to call their families, I would wait for her call every day but to no avail. Finally, on 9 June, I heard her voice after four months, it made me very happy and emotional,” Bharadwaj writes.
She says, “My mother gave up her American citizenship to live in India and serve the people here. But the government is saying that it gave up its citizenship to use the poor people and molest them against the government. So, I want to ask, ‘Is there anyone who has given up luxury and the good life in America to serve the people of her country? And then be declared a traitor? My grandmother [Krishna Bharadwaj], a renowned economist, wanted my mother to be like her. But my mother chose her own path; She chose to serve her people. Is this a traitor?”
She says, “I always used to quarrel with my mother about why she chose this job in a field where she has to work day and night without thinking about her health. She would say, ‘If we like If people do not work then how will the poor people get justice?’ I wanted to live a normal life where my mother would prepare my tiffin box, drop me off at school or college, give me studies, just like any other mother. But I guess she was not meant to be a normal mother. She is special. Very few people in this world have the courage to act like him. Which, I think, is one of the reasons why he is in jail.”
Concluding the note, Ms. Bharadwaj writes, “Whatever I am doing without my mother today, I think she is a reflection of her: strong, independent, and fearless. I know she’s stronger than I am.” Quoting author Brad Meltzer, she writes, “When you believe in something, fight for it, and when you see injustice, the fight is harder than ever. fight.”