Maharashtra government opposes any court relief to professor Anand Teltumbde

he Bombay High Court today reserved its order on a petition filed by Professor Anand Teltumbde that sought to quash an FIR against him and 21 others in Pune. The case commonly referred to as the case of urban naxals is under investigation.

Last month Pune police had filed a chargesheet against just five people while investigations against the rest were still underway.

Teltumbde, who is currently employed with the Goa Institute of Management as an assistant professor, was not at home when his house was raided by Pune police on August 28 this year.

A division bench of justices BP Dharmadhikari and SV Kotwa asked the government pleader Aruna Pai whether there was a raid or not on that day. Pai said the officers had visited but a search wasn’t conducted as no one was at home.

Teltumbde’s representative, advocate Mihir Desai told the court that ever since then, the police have not conducted any searches in his house even though he has been there.

Until he approached the Bombay High Court seeking relief, Pune Police had not made any attempts to arrest him. Given the circumstances, the case against him should be quashed. However Pai objected and said Teltumbde’s case cannot be separated and an investigation in the case was still underway and Pune police cannot say they will not arrest him.

Pai went on to reiterate that all the evidence in the form of letters, many of which were written to Comrade Prakash in 2017, were retrieved from the laptop of accused Rona Wilson.

The letters referred to one Comrade Anand who was also referred to as brother comrade by wanted accused Comrade M. “Comrade M is Milind Teltumbde who is his brother and is wanted in this case,” Pai told the court. Desai argued that Anand had not met his brother for the last 26 years.

According to Pai, one of the letters recovered from the same laptop was written to Comrade Anand to give traction of the domestic chaos on an international arena. “All should strive to keep the fire ablaze,” the letter allegedly said.

Pai said Professor Teltumbde had traveled to Paris for an international conference as directed in the letter. Desai did not refute his travelling to Paris and said Teltumbde as part of his work does travel quite often to international destinations.

He added that Professor Teltumbde could have run away from any of these travels abroad but he did not do so.

Desai reiterated that Teltumbde has no association with any terrorist organisation. He said that Teltumbde’s entire career will be ruined as under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), no bail is granted for months after arrest and no anticipatory bail can be applied for as well. The case has been registered by Pune police under UAPA.

Desai said Teltumbde had even written a letter to the Maharashtra government asking for a sanction to prosecute the Additional Director General of Police who had held a press conference and had shown the letters to the media saying they were ample proof to implicating Teltumbde. However Teltumbde got no response from the government.

The judges said they needed time to discuss before passing an order in the case. Earlier last week, the Bombay High Court had granted relief to Gautam Navlakha, another accused in the case from Delhi, from arrest till January however he had given no such relief to accused Stan Swamy from Ranchi.

Author: Dipto