Elgar Parishad case: Mumbai court rejects bail plea of activist Anand Teltumbde

By PTI
MUMBAI: A special court here has said that there was sufficient material to show that the allegations against activist Anand Teltumbde, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, were prima facie true.

The court has also said it does not find the accusations against Teltumbde to be “inherently improbable” or “wholly unbelievable”, and prima facie he was involved in furthering activities of a banned organisation.

Special judge D E Kothalikar, presiding over matters probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), made the observations while rejecting Teltumbde’s bail application on July 12, although the detailed order was made available on Friday.

“Upon perusal of the documents, including the exchange of e¬-mails and the statements of the witnesses relied upon by the prosecution, and after cross-checking the truthfulness of the allegations made against the applicane, this court does not find that the accusations are inherently improbable or wholly unbelievable,” the court said.

“On the contrary, I have no hesitation to conclude that there is sufficient material to enable the court reach to prima facie conclusion that the accusations made against the applicant (Teltumbde) are prima facie true,” the judge noted.

The court further said there is no hitch to record prima facie satisfaction that there is material against the applicant to show his complicity in the crime.

It also noted that evidence and documents submitted by the prosecution prima facie indicate that the applicant was prima facie involved in furthering activities of the banned organisation.

The NIA had earlier claimed that Teltumbde was an active member of CPI (Maoist) and propagated its activities.

“I hold that there is prima facie ample material on record which would reveal active role and participation of the applicant,” the court said.

Among other grounds, Teltumbde’s lawyer, had urged the court to consider the aspect that the probe in the crime has already been completed and the applicant is a well-qualified person.

The court, however, cited a Supreme Court order and noted that the fact that that the charge¬sheet has been submitted against the applicant cannot be used in favour of the applicant, rather it would go against him.

“As stated earlier, the courts considering the bail application are required to maintain a fine balance between the societal interest vis-a-vis personal liberty of the accused, by adhering to the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence.

“In this background, the contention of the applicant that his educational qualification and social background, needs to be considered while deciding bail application, is liable to be discarded,” the judge observed.

Teltumbde, arrested by the NIA in April last year, had in January 2021 filed a bail application stating that the theory of the prosecution that he was “waging a war or attempting to wage a war or abetting others to wage a war or incite the public is humbug.”

Teltumbde is presently lodged in the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.