Monday, March 4, 2024

Anand Teltumbde bail: Supreme Court dismisses appeal by NIA and upholds bail granted by Bombay High Court

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal against a Bombay High Court which was filed by the National Investigation Agency after the bail was granted to Dalit rights activist Anand Teltumbde in his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud (CJI) and Justice Hima Kohli said that they would never interfere with the High Court order and dismissed the case.

The Court added that the observations by High Court in its bail order will not weigh during trial.

The present appeal before the Supreme Court challenging a November 18 order of the Bombay High Court granting bail to the activist was moved by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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. 

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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