Guwahati: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday extended the protection from arrest granted to independent Assam MLA Akhil Gogoi in connection with a case related to anti-CAA protests and suspected Maoist links till March 13.
The lawmaker, who has allegedly been vocal against the Central government during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, had moved the top court against the February 9 order of the Gauhati High Court allowing the special NIA court in Assam to proceed with the framing of charges against him in one of the two cases.
A bench of justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal deferred the matter to March 13 after noting that the counsel for the petitioner was not available.
“Interim protection to continue till next date,” the bench said.
Earlier, NIA alleged before the Supreme Court that Gogoi is the kingpin of Maoist activities in the state. The High Court had allowed an NIA court to frame charges against Gogoi and his three associates under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for holding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019.
Subsequently, the NIA court on February 24 reopened the UAPA case against the legislator and his associates.
The NIA had earlier told the top court that bail cannot be granted to Gogoi as he is an alleged kingpin of Maoist activities in the state even as the lawmaker said cases against him were a result of “political vendetta.”
The MLA has come to the apex court against the order. While, the other three accused were Dhaijya Konwar, Bittu Sonowal and Manash Konwar, all of whom got bail in the NIA case and were released from the jail.