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Bhima Koregaon Violence: Bombay High Court Grants NIA Time To Respond In Anand Teltumbde's Bail Appeal

Sharmeen Hakim
20 Oct 2021 2:15 PM GMT
Bhima Koregaon Violence: Bombay High Court Grants NIA Time To Respond In Anand Teltumbdes Bail Appeal
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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) two weeks to respond to Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde's bail appeal. A division bench of Justice NJ Jamdar and Justice Sarang Kotwal granted NIA time and adjourned the case after two weeks. Teltumbde has filed two petitions; the first is an appeal against the special court's order rejecting his...

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) two weeks to respond to Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde's bail appeal.

A division bench of Justice NJ Jamdar and Justice Sarang Kotwal granted NIA time and adjourned the case after two weeks.

Teltumbde has filed two petitions; the first is an appeal against the special court's order rejecting his bail application and the second is a petition challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Regarding Teltumbde's second petition, the court asked his counsel to check if similar challenges are pending in the High Court and Supreme Court.

The bench is likely to decide during the next hearing if notice should be issued to the State in the second petition.

Senior Counsel Mihir Desai for Teltumbde said the first petition is an appeal against the special court's order. The second is a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of section 43D (5) of UAPA, considering the insurmountable hurdle it creates for bail.

Desai said there were slightly different provisions under TADA and POTA and the same were challenged.

The petition also challenges the terminology "and all its formations and front organizations" attached to the banned CPI (M) in the Schedule of the NIA Act.

Teltumbde claims that the "vagueness" of the terminology is used as a tool to circumvent due process wherein the State does not notify a particular organization as banned under the UAPA Act, but investigating agencies keep using the 'front organization' card with impunity and no oversight, especially to oppose bail.

On Wednesday, Advocate Sandesh Patil sought time to file a reply to the bail plea.

He further said that a similar plea challenging the constitutional validity of the provision of the NDPS Act is pending in the SC.

"Also, they have to make a case for issuing notice to AG," he said.

The court then granted NIA two weeks time to file a reply to the appeal.

Teltumbde was arrested on April 14, last year. He and 15 other activists were booked under the UAPA and accused of furthering the banned CPI(Maoist) agenda to overthrow the government.

Some of the 'front organizations' of CPI(Maoist) cited by the NIA in the Bhima Koregaon case include Committee of Protection for Democratic Rights (CPDR), People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Visthapan Virodhi Janvikas Andolan (VVJA), Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC).

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