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Special Court refused bail to Teltumbde, there was sufficient material to reach to prima facie conclusion

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Mumbai. NIA Special Court at Mumbai observed that there was sufficient material to reach to prima facie conclusion that the accusations against Bhima Koregaon accused Anand Teltumbde are prima facie true. The observations were made in its order refusing bail.

In his order, the Special NIA Judge DE Kothalikar opined that “bail application cannot be allowed solely or exclusively on the ground that the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence is that the accused is presumed to be innocent till he is found guilty by the competent court”.

The Court noted Bombay High Court‘s findings on the availability of the material against Teltumbde showing his complicity in the crime. On the basis of such findings, the Special Court concluded that it was barred from exercising discretion in favour of applicant.

Based on the documents of the prosecution and defence independently, the Court observed that “there would be no hesitation to conclude at the threshold, that the material available on record is sufficient to prima facie suggest that the allegations made against the applicant are true”.

Advocate Sudeep Pasbola appearing for Teltumbde, submitted that the documents relied upon by the prosecution were inadmissible to fasten liability on the applicant or to conclude that the allegations are prima facie true.

Finding no merit in this submission, the Court held that in view of the settled principle of law laid down in National Investigation Agency vs. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, the Court is not expected to conduct a “roving inquiry” or hold a mini trial at the time of deciding bail.

The Court held from the material showing Teltumbde’s “complicity in the crime” and the bar under Section 43-D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that no case is made out for bail.

NIA’s contention was that it had evidence to prove that Teltumbde was deeply involved in the furtherance of the agenda of CPI (Maoist) and had inspired his brother and wanted accused Milind Teltumbde to get involved in the organisation.

The Court agreed with the submission on the ground that “the wanted accused was the best person to state as to by whose conduct or activities he was being impressed..”

The Court also relied upon the submissions of the prosecution that –

Acts of the accused were not restricted to creating disharmony between two communities,

They were indulging in activities which were against the Nation,

That the incident at Bhima­ Koregaon was only a part of their larger conspiracy,

Students from educational institutes were taken to forest area and given training for terrorist activities.

Upon hearing the submissions of the parties and the material placed before the Court for consideration, the Special Court refused bail to Teltumbde.

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