SC agrees to examine NIA plea against Bombay HC granting bail to Anand Teltumbde
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has moved the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court order, which granted bail to activist Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has moved the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court order, which granted bail to activist Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud. The top court agreed to hear NIA’s appeal on Friday and asked Mehta to serve a copy to advocate Aparna Bhat, who appeared on behalf of Teltumbde on caveat.
Last week, the high court granted conditional bail to Dalit scholar and ex-IIT professor Teltumbde.
A division bench of Justice A.S. Gadkari and Justice Milind Jadhav granted the bail plea of Teltumbde, filed in 2021, challenging an order of the special NIA court rejecting his bail application in July last year.
However, the high court stayed the bail order for a week to allow the NIA appeal against it in the Supreme Court.
Teltumbde (72), the brother-in-law of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi President Prakash Ambedkar, had surrendered before the NIA in April 2020 following a Supreme Court order.
Granting him bail of Rs 1,00,000 plus two sureties, the division bench noted that prima facie, UAPA sections for offences of unlawful activities, terrorist acts and conspiracy were not made out, though membership and support to a terror group was made out.
The NIA had accused Teltumbde of being the convener of the Elgar Parishad of December 31, 2017, where fiery speeches were made which allegedly resulted in a caste violence at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, on January 1, 2018, in which one person was killed.
The two incidents sparked a nationwide furore and later the investigations by Pune Police, followed by the NIA, expanded the scope of the probe to an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and overthrow the Central government.
The NIA charged Teltumbde for being an active member of the banned CPI(Maoist) and deeply involved in “furtherance of its agenda”.
Strongly opposing the bail plea, NIA’s special public prosecutor Sandesh Patil also accused Teltumbde of inspiring his brother, the late activist Milind Teltumbde, to participate in the movement and shared prohibited literature from international conferences with him.
Reportedly a secretary of the CPI(Maoist) for Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh region, Milind Teltumde – who carried a reward of Rs 50 lakh – was shot dead in an encounter with security forces in Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) along with 25 other dreaded Maoists.
Through his lawyers Mihir Desai and Devyani Kulkarni, Anand Teltumbde argued that he had been a staunch critic of the Maoist ideology and had lost all contacts with his (deceased) brother Milind for some 25 years.