Three of the accused booked in the Bhima-Koregaon case have approached the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court seeking access to books and newspapers in prison.
Acting on the applications of the accused – Hany Babu, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha – the Special Court has asked the prison authorities to reply to the plea.
While Babu and Navlakha are lodged in Taloja prison, Bharadwaj is in Byculla jail. In their separate applications filed by their lawyers Yug Mohit Chaudhry and Chandni Chawla, the trio on Tuesday submitted that when the advocates had tried to deliver books for the accused, the prison authorities refused to accept them, and asked the lawyer to get an order from the court to deliver the books to the accused in prison.
Noting that in view of Rule 13 of the Maharashtra Prison Manual, it is within the province of the superintendent of prison to allow such activities, the special court asked the defence to submit an affidavit over the refusal. The court has also asked the prison authorities to submit a reply to the application.
Babu and Navlakha in their separate applications had claimed that their family members and friends have sent books to them by post in the past four months which were returned by the prison authorities. They also alleged that they were not even given access to newspapers since last six months and that there are not enough books in the prison library for them to read.
Meanwhile, Bhardawaj in her petition said the books sent to her in the past few months by post as well as those brought personally by her lawyers have been returned repeatedly.
The three accused have pleaded that they be allowed five books per month from outside the prison sent to them by their friends and family members.
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