A special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act on Thursday denied permission to Elgaar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case accused Gautam Navlakha and Sagar Gorkhe to use mosquito nets in prison.
Special NIA Judge Rajesh J. Katariya has, however, directed the prison's superintendent to take all necessary precautions against mosquitoes. The court also directed that the prison area be kept free from unwanted plants and weeds and that mosquito insecticide sprays and fumigation be done periodically. Judge Katariya has also directed that this shall be done every forthright during monsoon.
The court has permitted Navlakha and Gorkhe to use mosquito repellents, ointments and natural mosquito incense sticks. It has asked the jail authority to submit the compliance report.
Arguing for the item, Navlakha's advocate Wahab Khan had submitted before the court last month that Navlakha is 73-year-old and the medical officer of the prison allowed him to use it, but a new in charge who has taken charge insists that unless there is an order from the court, he cannot allow it. He had also told the court that the alternative of using an ointment will cost a lot and that the mosquito net is a non-risky item that he should be allowed to use. The advocate had also argued that Navlakha is an undertrial prisoner and not convicted and that prison manuals in some states say that prisoners can be allowed mosquito nets. He also submitted that he only needs it during nighttime when going to bed.
The Taloja prison had opposed the pleas for security reasons. It had been said that the BMC has done screening for Cholera, Typhoid and Malaria as a precaution.
Recently, another special NIA court had permitted the plea of Sunil Mane, a dismissed policeman accused in the Antilia bomb scare - Mansukh Hiran murder case. That court had said that the prisoner's demand appears to be genuine and had directed the prison authority to supply him with a mosquito net as per prison rules. It had noted that the prison had not responded to Mane's plea.