Court allows Sudha Bharadwaj to access books from outside jail- The New Indian Express

Court allows Sudha Bharadwaj to access books from outside jail- The New Indian Express

Editorials

By PTI

MUMBAI: A special NIA court has allowed activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar Parishad- Maoists links case, to access books from outside Byculla prison, where she is lodged, according to an order made available on Wednesday.

Special NIA court judge DE Kothalikar allowed a plea of Bharadwaj in this regard on Tuesday.

The judge directed the jail superintendent to allow Bharadwaj have access to five books a month from outside the prison in central Mumbai.

Last month Bharadwaj, and co-accused Gautam Navlakha and Delhi University professor Hany Babu had filed separate pleas through their lawyer Chandni Chawla seeking access to books and newspapers from outside prison.

Navlakha and Babu are lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai.

Thepleas of Babu and Navlakha will be taken up in next hearing.

“The superintendent shall carefully examine the books and if, they contain objectionable material, which preaches violence, vulgar, obscene, pornographic or the material propagating the banned organisation namely Revolutionary Democratic Front or CPI (Maoist), in that case he shall not allow the applicant to accept such books,” the court said.

In a related development, academician-activist Anand Teltumbde, also an accused, in his fresh bail plea filed before the court on Tuesday, has said the prosecution theory that he was abetting others to wage war against the government is all “humbug”.

Teltumbde, along with several other activists, has been booked under provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly having links with the Maoists and conspiring to overthrow the government.

He has sought bail on the merits of the case.

Teltumbde,in his bail plea, has given a detailed rebuttal to all the charges levelled against him.

“Even after the NIA has taken over nothing could be found and thus theory of prosecution that accused are waging war or attempting to wage war or accused is abetting others to wage war or incite the public is all humbug,” Teltumbde said in the bail plea.

The plea said the applicanthails from a poor family and due to his sheer brilliance and hard work has reached the position he has in Indian society.

However, casteist forces cannot digest this fact and implicating him in the case is an attempt to belittle his achievements, Teltumbde added.

The court will hear his plea and other applications related to the case on January 27.

The court had in July refused to grant “default” bail to Teltumbde (70), who is in jail for nearly nine months now.

He had sought bail under section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on July 13 after the NIA failed to file a charge-sheet against him within 90 days as mandated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Teltumbde and other activists were initially booked by the Pune police after violence erupted near Koregaon-Bhima, on outskirts of Pune city, a day after an Elgar Parishad conclave was organised.

Inflammatory speeches and provocative statements made at the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune on December 31, 2017, triggered the violence at Koregaon-Bhima the next day, the police had alleged.

According to the police, the event was “backed” by Maoists.

The NIA later took over the probe into the case.

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