Anand Teltumbde released within hours of his arrest

Mubarak Ansari
Sunday, 3 February 2019

Teltumbde’s lawyer Rohan Nahar had moved the contempt petition and argued, “As there was already interim protection given by the Supreme Court, there was no question of moving another application for the same after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected. His arrest by Pune police amounts to contempt of the Supreme Court.”

PUNE: A special court released Prof Anand Teltumbde within hours of his arrest in the Elgar Parishad case on Saturday, stating that the Pune city police’s action had violated the Supreme Court’s order.

Teltumbde, a professor at the Goa Institute of Management, was arrested at the Mumbai airport around 4 am after he arrived from Kerala. On Friday, the same court had rejected his anticipatory bail application.

He was brought to Pune and ACP Shivaji Pawar, the Investigating Officer (IO), produced him before the court of special judge KD Vadane. The courtroom was packed with lawyers and mediapersons amid heavy police bandobast. Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar, whose sister is the wife of Teltumbde, was also present.

Teltumbde’s lawyer Rohan Nahar had moved the contempt petition and argued, “As there was already interim protection given by the Supreme Court, there was no question of moving another application for the same after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected. His arrest by Pune police amounts to contempt of the Supreme Court.” 

He also argued that the judge (Vadane) would also be made a party in the contempt petition in higher court if he proceeded with the police action. 

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar argued, “The trial court rejected anticipatory bail on Friday and did not pass any order of protection in the present matter, therefore, an impugned arrest cannot be an illegal arrest. The apex court’s order was to give him time to move the court for seeking regular/pre-arrest bail. When the accused approached this court, the interim protection extinguished and therefore police action is justified. After the court denied him bail on Friday, he should have sought time to move a higher court, which he did not.”

After hearing both sides, judge Vadane took a break and then ordered the immediate release of Teltumbde. 

“From the order of the apex court, it is crystal clear that interim protection for a period of four weeks (till Feb 11) be given to the petitioner (Teltumbde) to seek regular/pre-arrest bail from the competent authority. Moreover, competent authority means a trial court, Honourable High Court, the Honourable Supreme Court also. Though his anticipatory bail came to be rejected by this court, the accused Teltumbde has the remedy to approach before Honourable High Court and Honourable Supreme Court, for seeking regular/pre-arrest bail within the stipulated period of four weeks from the date of the order of Honorable Apex Court. Taking into consideration all the above facts and circumstances, I have come to the conclusion that the arrest of accused Anand Teltumbdc made by Investigating officer is against impugned order by Honourable apex court. The arrest is illegal and amounts to contempt of the Supreme Court,” the release states. It also mentioned to inform the Supreme Court of its order. 

According to Pune police, Maoists had supported the Elgar Parishad conclave held here on December 31, 2017, and the inflammatory speeches there led to violent clashes at the Koregaon Bhima war memorial the next day. They also claimed to have seized, during the probe, letters linking Teltumbde and some other Left-wing activists to Maoists.

TELTUMBDE TO APPROACH HIGH COURT
“I thought there is a rule of law in the country and we can question authorities. But in the present condition, whoever has the authority, they do not have accountability. The case was part of the government’s conspiracy. The kind of evidence they have cited are questionable. With such kind of letters, anybody can be framed and his life put in jeopardy. We will soon approach the High Court,” Teltumbde said. 

‘ACTIVIST CRITICISED ELGAR PARISHAD’
Prakash Ambedkar, who is also a trained lawyer himself, said, “Teltumbde had written two articles criticising the Elgar Parishad. How can you say he is a Maoist and at the same time a critic of Elgar? This is self-contradictory.”

Related News