The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked Maharashtra prison authorities to clear their stand on whether Bhima Koregaon violence accused Gautam Navlakha is entitled to make telephonic and/or video conference calls from prison..The query by Justices Nitin Jamdar and NR Borkar came after the bench was informed by advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhari that telephonic conversations were being allowed for two years when the COVID pandemic was ongoing but stopped after physical meetings came to be allowed.“If it was given for 2 years without any problems, then why not now. All jails are allowed, why not now? What heavens will fall? Why the cruelty! They have sustained for 2 years because of this. Model prison manuals across the State allow for phone calls, even Delhi allows,” Chaudhari submitted.The division bench asked the public prosecutor to inform the Court why telephonic conversations could not be allowed for all prisoners.“That might reduce footfall. You tell us if the State wants to reintroduce the system? And not just COVID times but also normal times,” the Bench asked..Additional Public Prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde informed the Court that there was no provision to allow the same. She informed the Court that there was a public interest litigation (PIL) petition pending before the Court seeking notification of a rule for allowing telephonic or video conference calls.Chaudhari responded by highlighting Rule 140 of the Maharashtra State Prison Rules which he said, provides that undertrial prisoners are entitled to reasonable facilities.Shinde clarified that while prisons did allow phone calls through coin box, there may be different rules for prisoners undergoing trials under special acts like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.The Court adjourned the matter to Tuesday, July 12 to enable the prosecutor to get instructions..Navlakha was taken into custody in 2020 by the National Investigation Agency and is currently lodged in Taloja Central Prison since.Navlakha had assailed an order of the Special NIA Court at Mumbai which rejected his application seeking access to telephone in prison.The NIA Court reasoned that since prison rules did not permit access, Navlakha’s application could not be allowed.