No coercive action against Navlakha, Teltumbde: HC to police

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday said the Pune police shall not take any coercive action against activist Gautam Navlakha and professor Anand Teltumbde, both accused in Koregaon-Bhima case, till next week.

A division bench of Justices R V More and Bharti Dangre said it will hear petitions filed by Navlakha and Teltumbde urging the court to quash the case on October 26.

Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat-Pai told the court Friday that Navlakha was protected from arrest till October 26 by an order passed by the Supreme Court.

The high court then posted the petitions for hearing on October 26 and said, “No coercive steps (such as arrest) shall be taken till the next date of hearing.”

Pune police in August this year lodged a case against Navlakha, Teltumbde and four other activists.

Navlakha, prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao, activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves and trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj were arrested. Teltumbde was not arrested but his house was searched.

Navlakha and Teltumbde moved the Bombay high court this month, seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) lodged against them claiming there was no evidence and they were being falsely implicated.

After the arrest of Navlakha and four others by Pune police, the Supreme Court ordered that they be placed under house arrest.

The apex court, later, refused to interfere in the case and said the Pune police could go ahead with its investigation.

Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court freed Navlakha from the house arrest, saying the Supreme Court had given him the liberty to approach the appropriate forum within four weeks to seek further relief.

Pune police had claimed that they seized documents and emails exchanged between the accused which allegedly revealed their links with Maoist leaders and their roles in facilitating supply of weapons and funding.

The five activists were arrested on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31 last year which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district the next day.