Court allows 5 books a month to Sudha Bharadwaj

They should not contain objectionable material, it says.

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has allowed access of five books a month to Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, from outside the Byculla prison.

Special judge DE Kothalikar directed the Superintendent of the Byculla district prison to grant the access to Ms. Bharadwaj, trade unionist and human rights lawyer. The court said, โ€œThe Superintendent shall carefully examine the books and if they contain objectionable material, which preaches violence, vulgar, obscene, pornographic or the material propagating the banned organisation namely Revolutionary Democratic Front or CPI (Maoist), in that case he shall not allow the applicant [Ms. Bharadwaj] to accept such books.โ€

On November 11, a clerk from the office of Ms. Bharadwajโ€™s lawyer had gone to the prison to deliver a parcel consisting of two kurtas, one book. The jail authorities however took the parcel but removed the book โ€” The Empire of Cotton by Sten Backert.

On December 30, lawyers representing Ms. Bharadwaj along with co-accused Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha lodged at the Taloja central jail moved the special NIA court seeking access to books and newspapers in prison.

Mr. Navlakha sought two books โ€” The World Of Jeeves and Wooster by P.G. Wodehouse and Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States by James C. Scott. Mr. Babu wanted to read three books namely A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, Sea of Poppies by Amitava Ghosh and Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin.

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