Court Rejects Interim Bail Pleas of Elgar Parishad Accused Navlakha, Teltumbde

The activists had filed pleas for temporary bail, citing the cause of prison decongestion in light of COVID-19.

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A special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, 23 August, rejected the pleas for temporary bail of Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde.

Navlakha and Teltumbde, who are lodged in the Taloja jail, had filed petitions for temporary bail, citing the advisory issued by the High Power Committee for the decongestion of the jails in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Bar and Bench reported.

Navlakha's legal counsel had further argued that the petitioner was a senior citizen and therefore was at greater risk.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Prakash Shetty, however, had opposed the bail application, noting that it did not submit a medical certificate, and that the prevalence of COVID-19 has reduced substantially, Bar and Bench reported.


Special judge DE Kothalikar had subsequently refused the pleas for temporary bail.

The case against Teltumbde and Navlakha relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune, on 31 December 2017.

The Pune police had claimed that the speeches had triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located at the city's outskirts, on the day after the conclave.

The police had further claimed that the conclave had been backed by Maoists. 11 activists were booked by the NIA in the case for alleged links with Maoists.

The NIA had recently submitted a list of seventeen draft charges against the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. These charges include waging of war against the Government of India, which is punishable by death.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench)

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