Advertisement

Legal

Updated on: Friday, December 31, 2021, 10:55 AM IST

FPJ Legal: All I ask is an hour to breathe in fresh air, soak in sun, rights activist Gautam Navlakha in plea

Civil Rights activist Gautam Navlakha | PTI

Civil Rights activist Gautam Navlakha | PTI

Advertisement

Rights activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case lodged in the anda cell of Taloja Central Prison, made a handwritten application before a special court on Thursday, seeking that he be allowed an hour of fresh air and sun in the prison premises.

He, along with his co-accused, were produced before the special court on Thursday when he submitted the plea. “In anda cell, I am denied access to sun as well as fresh air and greenery. All I ask for is to be allowed an hour everyday outside the anda circle to breathe in fresh air and soak in the sun at a time convenient to jail authority with due security,” his plea stated.

The plea read, “I am a senior citizen and lodged in the Anda cell of Taloja Central Jail. I am aware that my stay in jail would be long although I am an undertrial prisoner.” Addressed to Special Judge D E Kothalikar, the application further said, “Sir, while my life and liberty stand compromised without trial and I wait patiently for justice and freedom, I have not forfeited my rights. Above all, I have to make sure that my mental and physical health do not suffer due to prolonged incarceration. It is with that in mind, I turn to you, my custodian,” he said.

The activist said his health would benefit immensely if he is allowed to avail of the very modest request. He added that it would help reduce the burden on the jail incurred on account of his health, especially since he is in the 70th year of his life, he stated.

The court asked Navlakha’s advocate, Dashrath Gaikwad, to serve a copy of the plea to the Taloja prison authority. Earlier, in a press statement in October-end, Navlakha’s partner Sahba Husain, had said that Navlakha had been shifted from the barracks to an anda cell on October 12. She had said that in the anda cell, his health had deteriorated further as he was deprived of daily walks in the jail’s non-concrete, green areas. Her statement had mentioned an excerpt of a letter he had written to her in which he had said that confinement in an anda cell means denial of fresh air/oxygen, as there is not a single tree or plant in the open space of the circle. “We are forbidden to step out of the anda cell…in other words we spend 16 hours out of 24 cooped inside our cell and eight hours we are let out, we are confined to a corridor for our daily walk on a cemented floor surrounded by high walls all around,” Navlakha’s letter to her had read.

The National Investigation Agency, the prosecution in the case, alleges that Navlakha is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and has indulged in furthering its agenda along with co-accused, with the aim to seize power from the state.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Advertisement
Published on: Friday, December 31, 2021, 07:01 AM IST
Advertisement