Bombay High Court grants Bail to Anand Teltumbde

Teltumbde also sought quashing of the order of the Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act rejecting his bail.

teltumbde

The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to Dalit rights activist and scholar Anand Teltumbde presently detained in Taloja Central Prison since 2020 for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018.

A bench of Justices AS Gadkari and Milind Jadhav pronounced the verdict today after extensively hearing the application and reserving its order last week.

The Court stayed its order for a week to enable the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file appeal before the Supreme Court.

The case against Teltumbde by the NIA was that he was one of the convenors of the December Elgar Parishad event, where he also had made provocative speeches leading to riots on January 1, 2018.

Advocate Sandesh Patil appearing for NIA argued that the speeches made at the event were allegedly backed by a banned terrorist outfit, the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

He also produced the relevant excerpts from the chargesheets and annexed evidence to show the material that the agency  had collected against the accused to show his alleged involvement in the event.

He also pointed out that Teltumbde was secretly in touch with his brother, alleged Maoist leader Milind Teltumbde, who was killed in an encounter in Gadchiroli earlier this year.

Patil also argued that Teltumbde would attend several international conferences where he would allegedly further Maoist agenda.

The scholar had moved the High Court in September last year after the Special Court under the NIA Act had rejected his bail holding that he was a member of banned organisation, Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Teltumbde in his plea also sought quashing of the order of the Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act rejecting his bail on the following grounds:

That chargesheet reads into thousands of pages and NIA admittedly intends to examine more than 200 witnesses; due to this it would take years to complete the trial and that would mean continued incarceration for years;

That object of bail is to secure attendance of accused at the trial, bail should not be withheld as a punishment.

The plea also pointed out that the special court order incorrectly held that he was part of banned organisation.

He submitted that the only way an organisation could be declared “banned” was after the Central government notified the same or added it under the Schedule of the UAPA.
Senior Advocate Mihir Desai appearing for Teltumbde pleaded that if bail is not granted, the minimum that should be done in his case would be to place him under house arrest instead of jail.

He pointed out that as per the chargesheets against Teltumbde no terror acts could be attributed to him and hence there was no bar to release him on bail under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Desai also pointed out that being an academician, Teltumbde was often invited for various conferences, national and international, and attending the same was not a crime.

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1 COMMENT

  1. […] Teltumbde also sought quashing of the order of the Special Court under the National Investigation Agency NIA rejecting his bail. The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to Dalit rights activist and scholar Anand Teltumbde presently detained in Taloja Central Prison since 2020 for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018. A bench of Justices AS Gadkari and Milind Jadhav pronounced the verdict today after extensively hearing the application and reserving its order last week. The Court stayed its order for a week to enable the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file appeal before the Supreme Court. Read more […]

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