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Elgar Parishad Case: Kin of Accused Challenge Order to Shift Them Out of Taloja Jail

PTI

Last Updated: August 03, 2021, 20:30 IST

Mumbai

Referring to the deadly second wave of COVID-19, the HC expressed hope the next year would bring a new beginning and that people will never see a repeat of April 2021. (Image: PTI/File)

Referring to the deadly second wave of COVID-19, the HC expressed hope the next year would bring a new beginning and that people will never see a repeat of April 2021. (Image: PTI/File)

Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor are in Taloja jail. Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, and Jyoti Jagtap are lodged in the Byculla women's prison in Mumbai.

The relatives and friends of three of the 16 activists arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case have approached the Bombay High Court against a special court’s order which allowed the transfer of all male accused in the case from the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai. The special NIA court passed the order without giving hearing to the accused and they were being “punished for having demanding their rights”, the petition, filed on Monday, said.

The three petitioners are academician Anand Teltumbde’s wife Rama Teltumbde, lawyer Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal Gadling and activist Sudhir Dhawale’s friend Sharad Gaikwad.

Earlier this year, officials at the Taloja Central Prison sought to transfer all ten male accused in the case to other prisons in Maharashtra on the ground that they were making false complaints to put pressure on the jail administration.

On April 1, special National Investigation Agency judge D E Kothalikar allowed their transfer, the petitioners said. The transfer order has not been implemented yet, though.

The accused have taken care of each other when any of them fell ill while in prison, the petitioners said. Further, since they were together in jail, it allowed their families and lawyers to coordinate their defense, the petition said. “…dividing the inmates is going to have serious repercussions on the defense…as they are accused of having conspired, they have a right to discuss law, facts with each other and go through the charge sheet which runs to over 20 thousand pages,” it added.

Then prison superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar, who had even temporarily `blocked all communication’ between the Elagar accused and their relatives and lawyers, sought their transfer, the petition said.

Kurlekar had repeatedly claimed that the accused were making false complaints, it added.

His intention was “to prevent the inmates from exercising their limited rights” as under-trial prisoners and “to punish them for having demanded their rights,” the plea alleged.

Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor are in Taloja jail. Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, and Jyoti Jagtap are lodged in the Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai.

Varavara Rao is out on interim medical bail, Hany Babu is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai, while father Stan Swamy died in hospital while awaiting medical bail on July 5.The HC is likely to hear the petition later this week.

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first published:August 03, 2021, 20:30 IST
last updated:August 03, 2021, 20:30 IST