MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file a reply to a bail plea of professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
Teltumbde (71), who is in jail for the last one-and-a-half years, had approached the HC last month, challenging the order of a special court in the city denying him bail on merits in July.
A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and SV Kotwal directed the NIA to file its reply on his plea within two weeks.
In his plea filed through senior counsel Mihir Desai, Teltumbde has denied all charges levelled against him and urged the HC to grant him bail.
On July 12 this year, the special NIA court had rejected Teltumbde's bail plea, observing in its order that there existed a prima facie case against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The academician, however, challenged the order and said the NIA had picked and chosen electronic evidence to suit its case.
The accused further argued in his plea that he had cooperated with the probe and was not a flight risk, and deserved to be granted bail.
Teltumbde, arrested by the NIA in April 2020, has been in judicial custody since then and lodged in the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the city''s outskirts.
The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
The probe in the case, in which more than a dozen activists and academicians have been named accused, was later transferred to the NIA.