Elgaar Parishad: Anand Teltumbde seeks bail from HC, says ‘trial will not commence in near future’

ELGAAR PARISHAD case accused Anand Teltumbde on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had wrongly attributed him as a terrorist while levelling charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act while there were no charges of direct violence against him.

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, representing Teltumbde, told a division bench of Justice S B Shukre and Justice G A Sanap that his client, who surrendered to NIA in April 2020, should be released on bail as the trial is not likely to commence in near future.

Desai said that while the NIA, in its chargesheet has claimed that Teltumbde was part of banned terrorist organisation and he abetted terrorist activities, he had not been charged directly for any specific act of violence in the case.

Teltumbde’s counsel said while the stringent bail conditions are stipulated against the person charged with provisions of UAPA, the Supreme Court has said that if trial in such cases is going to take a long time, then the person should not be kept behind bars pending trial.

Desai said that Teltumbde has written 16 books on the issue of caste in India and he has been active in the civil rights movement for the past 3-35 years. He added that certain unsigned letters were allegedly found on the computer of co-accused, which do not suggest that one “Anand” was involved in terrorist activities.

Desai referred to SC decision and said that being an ordinary member of terrorist organisation is not a crime as one has to be an active member of the same.

“My contention is that my client is not even an ordinary member of the terrorist organisation,” Desai argued.

The HC will continue hearing Teltumbde’s submissions on Thursday.

This article first appeared in indianexpress