MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nijamoodin Jamadar on Friday questioned the rationale of the accused in Bhima-Koregaon violence case for challenging the decision to transfer them from Taloja jail to Mumbai Central Prison. The bench also refused to stay the orders of transferring them.
The bench was hearing petitions filed by accused Anand Teltumbde's wife Rama, Mahesh Raut, Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal and Sudhir Dhawale’s friend Sharad Gaikwad seeking to quash three orders issued by the special NIA court transferring 10 accused to different prisons in the state.
On Friday, when the matter was called out for hearing, advocate Vijay Hiremath sought an urgent hearing in the matter.
Having heard his submission, Justice Shinde said, "All the times these accused complain of harassment so why do you want to complain when you are being transferred?"
"There are complaints that no proper care is being taken at Taloja prison...there is Covid19, overcrowding etc... All sorts of complaints and allegations are being made and now that they have decided to shift you, you are complaining," the judge observed.
The bench sought to know if the accused have any right to stay at a particular jail.
"Argue on that point. Some provision must be traceable when you agitate this," Justice Shinde said, adding, "When jail authorities want to shift some of them you are complaining... It is very confusing... All the times you complaint but now you want to suddenly stay there...what stand is this?"
During the hearing, advocate R Satyanarayanan, urged the judges to stay the decision to transfer the accused.
At this, Justice Shinde said, "Mr Satyanarayanan, is it a case that once they are shifted to some other jail they can't be brought back there?"
"We will hear whatever the contentions are raised but the stand taken by the accused from time to time there appears to be some sort of paradoxical...confusing..."
The petitions allege that the transfer orders were issued on April 1, on June 17 and on June 27 this year without following due process of law and giving a hearing to the accused or their relatives. Seeking to quash these orders, the relatives have prayed that the prison authorities be restrained from acting on them till the petition is decided.
Terming the orders as bad in law, the petitions state that these orders were passed in an administrative capacity and not a judicial capacity as opportunity was not given to the inmates to argue.