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Elgar Parishad case: Prison censoring letters as they contain suspicious material, says NIA

10:30 PM Oct 22, 2021 | Staff Reporter

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Elgar-Parishad case, has told the Bombay High Court that Anand Teltumbde and some other accused have been writing letters that contained incriminating and suspicious material that could hamper the trial in the case while they were lodged at the Taloja Central Prison.

The claim was made by the NIA in an affidavit before the HC on Thursday. It states that the Taloja prison authorities, including the prison superintendent, had been scrutinising communications to and from Teltumbde and had found that he had been writing about an alleged conspiracy hatched in the case, and about evidence having been tampered on his co-accused Rona Wilson's computer.

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The central agency’s affidavit has been filed in reply to a petition filed by Teltumbde's wife Rama alleging that the Taloja prison superintendent had been withholding letters and communication to and from Teltumbde and others accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

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The prison authorities had not restricted Teltumbde or his co-accused from communicating with their family members and lawyers. They had merely withheld such letters that contained suspicious or incriminating material, states the affidavit signed by NIA's Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Nair.

Rama’s petition had claimed that such censure was in breach of the fundamental rights of the accused persons and had sought directions from the court to the state prison authorities.

Seeking dismissal of her plea, the NIA said that she was not the one directly aggrieved by the censuring of letters. If such a petition was to be filed, it must be filed by Teltumbde or his co-accused.

Besides, the Maharashtra Prison Rules permitted the prison superintendent to scrutinise letters written by prison inmates and all communication meant for them received from outside of the prison to ensure that they did not contain anything "cryptic," "objectionable," or "suspicious," the NIA said.

“The rights of the under trial prisoners to write letters are not unfettered and are always subject to the restrictions," the affidavit reads. The affidavit further alleges that Rama had filed the plea since she wanted to “pass off prohibited material in the nature of letters”.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing next month.

Also Read: FPJ Legal: NIA asked to respond to Anand Teltumbde's bail plea in 3 weeks

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