umbai, Oct 22 (PTI) Anand Teltumbde and some other accused in the Elgar Parishad case were writing letters from prison containing incriminating material and “scandalous allegations,” the National Investigation Agency has told the Bombay High Court.
The Central agency on Thursday filed an affidavit in reply to a petition filed by Teltumbde’s wife Rama which claimed the jailed accused were not receiving letters from relatives, nor the accused persons’ letters were reaching their families. It was a breach of their fundamental rights, the petition said. The agency said the authorities at Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai scrutinized the letters sent and received by Teltumbde and others.
Teltumbde was writing letters to “Mr. Riyaz” and they contained “scandalous allegation regarding hatching of conspiracy in connection with Elgar Parishad and also articles making allegation regarding planting of letters in (co-accused) Rona Willson’s computer”, the NIA told the court.
Such communication “directly hampers trial,” the agency claimed.
The NIA also mentioned a letter and an article published in the Caravan magazine by Teltumbde’s “co-accused”, saying they were objectionable.
Prison authorities had not stopped Teltumbde and other accused from communicating with their family members and lawyers, but only withheld letters containing suspicious or incriminating material, the agency said.
The NIA also said that Rama Teltumbde was not the one directly aggrieved by the censoring of letters, and such a petition should be filed by an accused person.
The Maharashtra Prison Rules allow the prison superintendent to scrutinize letters written by inmates and all communication received from outside to ensure that it did not contain anything “cryptic,” “objectionable” or “suspicious,” the NIA said.
“The rights of under-trial prisoners to write letters are not unfettered and are always subject to the restrictions,” the affidavit said. The affidavit, signed by the NIA’s Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Nair, also alleged that Rama Teltumbde has filed this plea because she wanted to “pass off prohibited material in the nature of letters.” The court is likely to hear the matter further next month.
Teltumbde, a Dalit scholar, and 15 others including some Left-leaning activists were arrested in the case on the charge of having links with the Maoists. Stan Swamy, one of the accused, died in June this year.