Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha’s Interim Bail Pleas Rejected by a Special NIA Court

By: Aparajita Patel

Professor Anand Teltumbde and journalist Gautam Navlakha, who are charged in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case, were denied provisional bail by the Special NIA Court.

The two applied for temporary release immediately from prison, claiming their age and vulnerability to Covid-19 in their applications. The pleas were entered in response to jail administration orders that all detainees over the age of 60 apply for interim bail owing to the epidemic.

Navlakha failed to present a medical certificate with his bail plea, according to Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty. “The covid situation has significantly improved,” he continued. The bail pleas were denied by Special Judge DE Kothalikar. “It goes without saying that the jail authority shall offer adequate medical aid to the petitioner if the situation requires it.”

In the case of Teltumbde, the court noted that he had requested temporary bail in his merits-based bail plea. This, too, would fail because the substantive bail plea had been denied. Accused Arun Ferreira and Surendra Gadling were meant to be brought out of prison on Monday to defend their bail applications; however, they were not brought out and will most likely be brought on September 6.

The  NIA has issued a list of seventeen draught accusations, including waging war against the government, which carries a death penalty. The 15 activists have been accused by the agency of being members of the banned CPI (Maoist) and its front organisations that want to build a “Jantana Sarkar,” or “People’s Government,” through an armed revolution and grab power from the government. The NIA, on the other hand, recently informed the High Court that it would not seek charge framing before the trial court till August 25.

Accused Sudha Bharadwaj and Navlakha have petitioned the Bombay High Court to halt the trial or postpone the filing of charges until the defence receives clone copies of all the electronic devices confiscated.