The Bombay high court on Friday refused to grant anticipatory bail to civil rights activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde in the Elgar Parishad alleged Maoist links case.
Justice P D Naik, while rejecting their pre-arrest bail pleas, said ‘prima facie evidence shows complicity of both the accused in the case’.
The court, however, extended the interim protection from arrest granted to them for a period of four weeks so that they can approach the Supreme Court in appeal.
“On perusal of all the material on record, it can be seen that there is prima facie evidence showing complicity of applicants (Navlakha and Teltumbde) in the crime,” Justice Naik said.
The court, after perusing letters allegedly exchanged between the accused persons, noted that Navlakha, Teltumbde and the other accused persons like Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson and Sudha Bharadwaj had direct access and connections with central committee members and leaders of Communist Party of India (Maoist).
“It was revealed during the course of investigation that Anand Teltumbde was recipient of funds from the banned terrorist organisation,” the court said.
Navlakha, Teltumbde and several other activists have been booked by the Pune Police for their alleged Maoist links and several other charges following the violence at Koregaon Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018.
According to Pune Police, ‘inflammatory’ speeches and ‘provocative’ statements made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 had triggered caste violence at Koregaon Bhima the next day. The police alleged that the conclave was backed by Maoists.
Teltumbde and Navlakha had approached the high court seeking pre-arrest bail in November last year after a sessions court in Pune rejected their pleas.
In December last year, the high court had granted them interim protection from arrest pending disposal of their anticipatory bail pleas.
Although the Pune Police was investigating the case, the Centre had last month transferred the probe to National Investigation Agency (NIA).