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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Elgar Parishad case: Court rejects Teltumbde’s temporary bail plea, sends him to judicial custody till May 8

Teltumbde through his lawyers had moved a plea seeking temporary citing the Covid-19 outbreak and his susceptibility to it due to his health condition. The NIA, however, opposed the plea stating that the offence was serious.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Updated: April 26, 2020 1:52:48 am
Teltumbde questioned by Pune police again Anand Teltumbde at the office of ACP Shivaji Pawar in Pune on Thursday. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

A special court on Saturday rejected the temporary bail plea of academician Dr Anand Teltumbde, arrested on April 14 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case related to an alleged conspiracy to convene Elgaar Parishad in Pune on December 31, 2017. Teltumbde (70) has been sent to judicial custody till May 8.

Teltumbde, through his lawyers R Satyanarayan and Arif Siddiqui, had moved a plea seeking temporary release on bail citing the COVID-19 pandemic and his susceptibility to it due to his health issues.

The NIA, however, through special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty, opposed the plea, stating that the offence was serious. The agency added that the offences for which Teltumbde has been booked, including Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, did not fall into the criteria fixed by the state’s high-powered committee, which had prescribed bail being granted to those facing punishment only up to seven years imprisonment.

The temporary bail plea had stated that in the current circumstances, the risk of contracting a serious respiratory infection such as coronavirus in closed and cramped jails is high and poses a serious threat to the life and well-being of the accused.

“The accused (Teltumbde) has been diagnosed with reduced respiratory air flow… A severe infection has a high chance of causing aggravation of symptoms and can rapidly or suddenly lead to acute respiratory distress, necessitating immediate medical attention to prevent loss of life,” the plea said.

It was also submitted that an official who was deployed at the NIA Mumbai office has tested positive and staffers who came in contact with the official have been asked to self-quarantine.

The prosecution, however, submitted that adequate precaution was taken while Teltumbde was in custody of NIA. It added that Teltumbde was tested for COVID-19 and the report turned out to be negative.

The plea further said that Teltumbde had followed the due process of law since he was named as an accused.

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