New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) plea against the bail granted to activist Anand Teltumbde in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said it would not interfere with the Bombay High Court order granting bail to Teltumbde. “We will not interfere,” the bench said.
The top court said, “The petition is dismissed. However, the observations made in the impugned order of the High Court shall not be taken as a final finding during the course of hearing.” The high court had allowed Teltumbde’s bail application on November 18, noting that the only prima facie case against Teltumbde pertains to alleged links with and support to a terrorist group, for which the maximum punishment is 10 years. Is imprisoned.
The court had also said that there is no evidence that he (Teltumbde) was an active member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) or was involved in any terrorist activity. The High Court, however, stayed its bail order for a week so that the NIA, the agency probing the case, could approach the Supreme Court. Teltumbde (73) is the third of the 16 accused arrested in the case who have been ordered to be released on bail.
Poet Varavara Rao is currently out on bail due to health reasons, while advocate Sudha Bhardwaj is out on regular bail. The apex court had on November 22 agreed to hear the NIA’s appeal today. It had then taken note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the stay on the operation of the bail order of the High Court was only for a week and the matter required urgent hearing.
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The High Court, while granting bail, had noted that Teltumbde had already spent more than two years in jail. After perusing the documents submitted by the NIA, the High Court had said that prima facie it cannot be held that Teltumbde is actively involved in the work of the CPI (Maoist) or is an active member of the group. Teltumbde has been lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail since his arrest in this case in April 2020. The trial court is yet to frame charges in the case. The case will be heard only after framing of charges. (agency)