Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Anand Teltumbde bail: Supreme Court lists NIA challenge on November 25

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday posted for November 25, the petition filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the Bombay High Court granting bail to Dalit rights activist Anand Teltumbde in a case related to the Bhima Koregaon violence.  

The matter was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, which agreed to hear it on Friday.

The accused was represented by Advocate Aparna Bhat on caveat.

After the Solicitor General mentioned the matter before a Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, the Court decided to hear the matter today itself.

However, SG Mehta contended that the arguments in the case were to be made by his colleague, who was currently travelling.

The SG requested the Apex Court to take up the matter on Thursday, since the stay on the bail order of Teltumde was till Friday. The top court of the country, however, decided to take up the case on Friday.

On November 18, the High Court Bench of Justice A.S. Gadkari and Justice Milind Jadhav had granted bail to the Dalit rights activist and scholar, who was arrested and lodged in Taloja Central Prison in 2020 for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018.
The Bench had observed that in Teltumbde’s case, only offence that can be made out is under Section 38 and 39 (relating to membership in terrorist organisation).

The court said that the maximum punishment in those offences was imprisonment for 10 years and Teltumbde had already been incarcerated for more than 2 years in prison.

The Court had stayed its order for a week to enable NIA to file an appeal before the Supreme Court.

NIA in its case against Teltumbde had said that he was one of the convenors at the Elgar Parishad conference, which took place on December 31, 2017 at Shaniwar Wada Fort in Pune, Maharashtra.

The event, organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima, consisted of cultural performances, speeches and slogans.

NIA alleged that Teltumbde made some provocative speeches at the event, which led to riots on January 1, 2018.

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

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