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Elgaar Parishad case: Court allows Gautam Navlakha’s partner to meet him in jail

Gautam Navlakha has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail since last April.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 31, 2021 12:29:46 am
Bhima Koregaon case, Gautam NavlakhaGautam Navlakha. (File)

A special court on Thursday allowed an application filed by activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, to allow his partner Sahba Husain to meet him in prison.

Navlakha has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail since last April. The state prison department, since October, had resumed physical mulaqats (meeting) in jails, after they were suspended in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Husain had traveled from Delhi to Mumbai last month to meet Navlakha but she was denied access to him. According to rules, only blood relatives and spouses are allowed to meet inmates physically in prisons.

Husain had visited Taloja jail on November 26 and after being given a token to meet Navlakha, she was told that the visit is not possible since she is not a blood relative or his spouse. Husain said that she waited from 10 am to 5 pm and requested the jail officials for permission to meet Navlakha, as she is a senior citizen and had traveled from Delhi. “But I was denied permission so we approached the court,” she added.

Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar had sought a response to the plea from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Taloja jail. The jail officials have said that they can grant permission for the meeting if NIA verifies Husain’s identity.

The court on Thursday allowed the meeting, directing the NIA to verify Husain’s details and submit a report to the jail. It also allowed an application by activist Sudhir Dhawale, also lodged in the same jail, to meet a friend after due verification by the agency.

Further, Navlakha submitted a plea seeking access to sunlight and fresh air for an hour daily. In October, Navlakha and a few others were shifted to a high-security cell in the prison. Husain had then said that lack of access to fresh air was causing further deterioration of his health.
Other accused in the case, including former Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow Mahesh Raut, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, cultural group Kabir Kala Manch members Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor, academician Anand Teltumbde and Dhawale made submissions regarding not being allowed medicines in jail, which were being previously allowed, and lack of access to treatment.

The court directed the jail superintendent to submit a report regarding the requirements and availability of the prescribed medicines in prison and refer those required to be medically examined to a government hospital.

It also said that reports on two other applications are awaited from the prison. Maintaining that there has been no timely compliance, the court sought a report from the superintendent.

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