Updated: September 11, 2020 5:53:35 pm
Activist Anand Teltumbde, lodged in Taloja jail in connection with the probe into the Elgaar Parishad case, moved the Bombay High Court Friday against the July 12 order of the Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court that allowed extension of his detention for another 90 days.
The application filed by Teltumbde challenged the special Court order and said that the extension was granted without following norms under Section 43 (D) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and therefore should be quashed and set aside. In view of this, Teltumbde sought from HC that special Court be directed to release him on bail.
As per the application filed through advocate R Satyanarayanan, Teltumbde had surrendered on April 14, this year as per the direction of the Supreme Court and was subsequently arrested and kept at Taloja Jail. On July 12, he completed 90 days in custody but investigation had not been completed and therefore the state government, through the public prosecutor, had moved an application before a special NIA court for extension of his custody. The state had also sought extension of the custody of co-accused Gautam Navlakha in the plea.
The state government represented by NIA in its application had said that the draft of the chargesheet was voluminous due to Covid-19 pandemic and they had not been able to file it before the appropriate court.
The state also said that interrogation of witnesses and examining of forensic evidence was also pending due to Covid-19 and therefore it required an extension of the custody of Teltumbde and Navlakha as per Section 43 (D) of the UAPA.
The section 43 (D) states that If the prosecuting agency fails to complete its probe within the stipulated 90 days and its inquiry remains inconclusive, it can seek an extension for another 90 days.
Teltumbde has argued that the Special Court did not pay attention to the information provided by the state in its application, which said, “sufficient evidence has been being collected” and the Court did not abide by the SC order, according to which a person cannot be detained beyond 90 days if the investigating agency is unable to complete its probe or file chargesheet within the stipulated period.
He said that since his custody would not be required for recording of statements of witnesses or getting forensic reports, the Special Court should not have given an extension of 90 days.
When the case came up for hearing before a single judge bench of Justice Revati Mohite- Dere recused from hearing the plea. The application is now expected to be heard by another bench next week.
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