September 14, 2021 1:08:20 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), seeking its response to an appeal filed by Elgaar Parishad case accused Anand Teltumbde against rejection of his bail application by the special NIA court.
The court also directed the central agency to respond to another plea filed by Teltumbde, in which he has alleged that “by booking him under section 43D (5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and attributing him to being part of a frontal organisation that represents a banned organisation, the NIA has made it impossible and an insurmountable hurdle for him to apply for bail, which is arbitrary and against his personal liberty”.
Teltumbde has sought quashing of the terminology “all frontal organisation”.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was on Monday hearing Teltumbde’s appeal against the July order of the NIA court that rejected his bail application.
Teltumbde has claimed that the “vagueness” of the term “frontal organisation” has been used as a “tool to circumvent” the process, in which while the state does not notify certain organisations as banned under UAPA, the probing agencies keep using “frontal organisation card” to oppose bail pleas.
Senior counsel Mihir Desai and advocate Devyani Kulkarni, appearing for Teltumbde, challenged the constitutional validity of section 43D (5) of UAPA stating that it is violative of articles 14 (equality before law) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.
“Thus, by a brush of paint, not of the Central government but of an individual NIA officer, a large number of organisations are sought to be banned. Further, the special court seems to find nothing wrong with this and appears to have granted its stamp of approval,” the plea stated.
The HC will hear the pleas on October 7.
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