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Permit Anand Teltumbde & Vernon Gonsalves To Receive & Send Letters : Spouses Move Bombay High Court

Shrutika Pandey
3 July 2021 1:24 PM GMT
Permit Anand Teltumbde & Vernon Gonsalves To Receive & Send Letters : Spouses Move Bombay High Court
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A plea has been filed by wives of Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves in the Bombay High Court seeking action against the Superintendent of Taloja Prison for withholding communication from Teltumbde and other co-accused to their family members. The matter was posted before a division bench of Justice S.S Shinde and N.J Jamadar, where counsel on behalf of the National Investigation...

A plea has been filed by wives of Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves in the Bombay High Court seeking action against the Superintendent of Taloja Prison for withholding communication from Teltumbde and other co-accused to their family members. The matter was posted before a division bench of Justice S.S Shinde and N.J Jamadar, where counsel on behalf of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Sandish Patel, contended not receiving a copy of the petition; thus, the matter was adjourned with directions to serve the respondents.

The case of Rama Teltumbde and Susan Abraham Gonsalves is that after Mr. Teltumbde wrote an article for Caravan in March this year, the Prison Superintendent has "dictatorially" imposed a ban on Mr. Teltumbde and his co-accused, withholding their letters/communications addressed to their family members and advocates. The petition filed through R Satynarayanan calls the action of the SP of withholding or belatedly posting the letters as "deliberate, malicious, harsh and perverse."

The petitioner has made representations to the SP and the Special Inspector General of Police requesting to lift the embargo and allow the letters to be sent timely. However, no response has been received in this regard. The petition alleges that the non-responsiveness of the shows callousness on their part.

The petition refers to Rule 17 & 20 of the Maharashtra Prisons (Facilities to Prisoners) Rules, 1962, which lays down the subjects on which prisoners may correspond. It includes personal and private matters and excludes any matter likely to become the subject of political propaganda or any criticisms on the administration of the prison or any reference to other persons confined in prison. The petitioners argue that the SP misinterpreted the article written by Mr. Teltumbde as in no way did it further any political propaganda or speak against the prison administration. Therefore, the embargo on the accused's communication in response to the article is "illegal, harsh and in gross abuse and misuse of powers," the petition puts forth.

The petition has sought directions against the Superintendent of Taloja Central Prison to permit the accused and his co-accused in the Elgar Parishad case to write and receive letters from their advocates and family members. It has also sought to quash the decision of the SP imposing restrictions on the rights of correspondence of the accused.

Anand Tletumbde and Vernon Gonsalves have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in the Bhima Koregoan case.

Title: Rama Teltumbde & Ors v. State of Maharashtra & Ors

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