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Think tank of CPI (Maoist), received funds: NIA cites grounds to challenge Anand Teltumbde’s bail before SC 

The NIA petition before the SC, filed three days after the bail order, challenges the Bombay High Court’s decision on various grounds. 

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The NIA says Anand Teltumbde was highly educated and intelligent, and hence unearthing evidence against him would be difficult. (File Photo)

By Srishti Ojha: Arguing that the Bombay High Court has conducted a mini-trial, the National Investigation Agency has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the high court’s order granting bail to Professor Anand Teltumbde in the 2018 Elgar Parishad case.

The petition, filed three days after the bail order, challenges the high court’s verdict on various grounds:

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‘MINI-TRIAL’ BY HIGH COURT

The NIA has submitted that the high court conducted a mini-trial while hearing a bail plea, minutely going into details of each document and witness statements and making observations that would influence the trial and investigation.

It has been argued that this approach is contrary to SC’s judgments that have dissuaded the holding of mini-trials or detailed analysis of evidence on record.

TELTUMBDE’S INTELLIGENCE

The NIA has stated that the high court erred in not noticing that Teltumbde is highly educated, has an MBA along with a degree in mechanical engineering, a doctorate in management and has worked as a professor at an IIT.

According to the NIA, this goes to show the level of intelligence and intellectualism that Teltumbde possesses, which would make unearthing any evidence against him an uphill task.

TELTUMBDE A THINK TANK OF CPI (MAOIST)

The investigation agency has argued that the high court had not noticed that Teltumbde’s younger brother, Milind Teltumbde, was a leader of the CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, and that Anand Teltumbde was in regular touch with him, supplying him incriminating material for dissemination.

It has further been argued by the NIA that the high court also erred in not noticing that Anand Teltumbde was the think tank of the CPI (Maoist), coordinated various works with other co-accused persons and also received funds from the CPI (Maoist).

HC OBSERVATIONS AS GOOD AS DISCHARGING HIM

The NIA has submitted that the high Court has made observations that are akin to discharging Teltumbde by analysing offences and sections under which he’s been charged.

SC EARLIER REFUSED ANTICIPATORY BAIL

The NIA has pointed out that various courts, including the Supreme Court, had earlier denied relief to Teltumbde, which shows that there was a prima facie case against him. It has been further pointed out that the top court had in March 2020 refused to grant him anticipatory bail, observing that it cannot be said that no prima facie case is made out.

MANNER OF PROBE PREROGATIVE OF AGENCY, NOT HC

Referring to the HC’s observations regarding CDR and email records, the NIA has argued that it’s a settled law that manner and mode, and direction of investigation, is the sole prerogative of the investigating agency and it’s not appropriate to substitute that with the HC’s wisdom.

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According to the NIA, the bail order needs to be set aside so that the investigating agency can unearth the larger conspiracy, which is a threat to our national security and integrity.

The high court had passed the bail order on November 18, but had stayed its own order for a week on the NIA’s request to enable the agency to approach the Supreme Court.

The case was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the NIA before the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Tuesday. The court directed the case to be listed for hearing on Friday, November 25.

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