Court refuses to pass order on jailed activists’ plea for books

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Court refuses to pass order on jailed activists’ plea for books

A special NIA court has refusedto pass any order on the plea of jailed activists Hany Babuand Gautam Navlakha, both accused in the Elghar-ParishadMaoist links case, seeking books from outside the prison.

Special NIA judge D E Kothalikar recently noted thatit would not be just to pass any order as it would be withinthe province of the jail authority to accept articles for theundertrial prisoners.

Navlakha and Hany Babu are lodged in Taloja jail inNavi Mumbai in connection with the case.

Last month, their lawyer had claimed that the prisonauthorities refused to accept the books sent for the activistsand was asked to get an order from the court.

They then moved a plea seeking access to books andmagazines from outside the prison.

The court noted that a statement had been made beforeit by the advocate that she had approached the superintendentfor providing books to the applicant, but was asked to bringan order from the court.

On perusal of the contents of the present affidavits,it appears that the applicants have taken a somersault andcome with the contention that the books were sent to theprison (via courier) and they were refused to be accepted, thecourt said.

”It is worthy to be noted here that the prisonauthority is supposed to take care about the security of theprison…,” it added.

As per the record, the parcels were returned with anendorsement ‘Covid Suraksha’.

”In this view of the matter, unless an attempt is madeto hand over the books physically to the jail authority andthe same is refused to be accepted by it, in my view it wouldnot be just to pass any order as it would be within theprovince of the jail authority to accept articles for theunder trial prisoners, if attempted to be delivered by theirrelatives or near ones,” it said.

”Hence, I do not find it fit to pass order on theapplications,” the court added.

Earlier, the court had allowed similar plea of anotheractivist Sudha Bharadwaj.

The court had directed the jail superintendent toallow Bharadwaj have access to five books a month from outsidethe prison in central Mumbai.

Navlakha and Babu, along with other activists, wereinitially booked by the Pune police after violence eruptednear Koregaon Bhima near Pune, a day after an Elgar Parishadconclave was organised.

Inflammatory speeches and provocative statements madeat the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune city on December 31,2017, triggered the violence at Koregaon-Bhima the next day,the police had alleged.

According to the police, the event was ”backed” byMaoists.

The NIA later took over the probe into the case.

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