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May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

23/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Maharashtra Government and the National Investigation Agency on Friday continued their arguments opposing Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s default bail application.
The State submitted that in her entire petition Bharadwaj hasn’t averred at a single place that she was “denied justice” because a sessions court, and not a special court under the NIA Act, took cognisance of the chargesheet against her and and other accused on February 21, 2019.
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If Court is not empowered to take cognizance, does not mean proceedings can be set aside: NIA to Bombay High Court

23/07/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

An affidavit stating the same was filed before the High Court in the petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon case challenging the order refusing bail.
Merely because a court is not empowered by law to take cognizance and yet does so in good faith does not mean that the proceedings should be set aside on that ground alone, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted before the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Judicial inquiry into Stan Swamy’s death yet to be initiated: State in Bombay HC

Judicial inquiry into Stan Swamy’s death yet to be initiated: State in Bombay HC

+++ The Court posted the case for further hearing on August 4, 2021 +++


Judicial inquiry into Stan Swamy’s death yet to be initiated: State in Bombay HC

23/07/2021

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

Oral comments made on Swamy, withdrawn by the court after ASG submitted they were ‘twisted’ on social media and by the press.
The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Friday that a judicial magisterial inquiry into the death of Father Stan Swamy is yet to be initiated.
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Bombay High Court Withdraws Oral Praise For Late Father Stan Swamy After NIA Objection

23/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Friday withdrew its oral statements in praise of late tribal rights activist -Father Stan Swamy and his work – after the National Investigation Agency raised objections during his bail hearing posthumously.
Justice SS Shinde, however, said that even judges are human beings and the news of Father Swamy’s death on July 5 was sudden. Moreover, the court had added a rider that it wasn’t making any comment on Father Swamy’s incarceration or arrest under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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Bombay HC to decide on temporary bail to Surendra Gadling on July 26

Bombay HC to decide on temporary bail to Surendra Gadling on July 26

Bombay HC to decide on temporary bail to Surendra Gadling on July 26

22/07/2021

Free Press Journal / by Urvi Mahajani

The Bombay high court will decide on July 26 the application filed by human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling who is accused of his involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, to perform last rights of his mother on her first death anniversary on August 15.
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Reason for seeking temporary bail daos not survive: NIA opposes Surendra Gadling´s temporary bail plea in Bombay High Court

22/07/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Gadling had sought temporary bail from the Special NIA Court on the ground that his mother had expired in August last year but the same was dismissed by the special NIA court leading to the appeal before High Court.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has asked the Bombay High Court to dismiss the appeal filed by Bhima Koregaon accused Surendra Gadling seeking temporary bail, as the ground cited by Gadling regarding his mother’s demise does not survive anymore (Surendra Gadling v. National Investigation Agency)
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Also read: Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire, July 6, 2021)

How many years can an undertrial languish in jail without trial? HC asks NIA on Bhima-Koregaon Case

How many years can an undertrial languish in jail without trial? HC asks NIA on Bhima-Koregaon Case

How many years can an undertrial languish in jail without trial? Bombay High Court asks NIA on Bhima-Koregaon Violence

19/06/2021

Free Press Journal / by Narsi Benwal

HC says it has too much of respect for Stan Swamy and his work, irrespective of the legal position.
The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nizamoodin Jamadar on Monday asked the National Investigations Agency (NIA) as to for how many years could an undertrial be languishing in jail without trial. The bench was referring to the fact that several rights activists, some of them senior citizens, arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, have been in prison without charges being framed against them, since last three years.
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We Have Respect For Father Stan Swamy’s Work: Bombay High Court

19/06/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Justice SS Shinde of the Bombay High Court on Monday said late tribal rights activist and priest – Stan Swamy’s – graceful funeral service after his demise on July 5 2021, had touched him.
“I was informed about the timing of the funeral service. Such a wonderful person. The kind of services he has rendered to the society. We have respect for his work. Legally, whatever is there against him is a different matter…We normally don’t get time for TV, but we saw this funeral, and it was very graceful.”
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You will argue and leave, but we have to answer: Bombay HC to NIA during bail hearing of late Father Stan Swamy

19/06/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

“For how many years without trial can people be asked to languish in jails? Speedy trial is a fundamental right,” the Court said.
The Bombay High Court on Monday lamented at the inordinate delay in concluding trials resulting in accused languishing in jails as undertrial prisoners.
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NIA Court rejecting bail to Anand Teltumbde [read judgment]

NIA Court rejecting bail to Anand Teltumbde [read judgment]

Bail cannot be granted only because accused is innocent until proven guilty: NIA Court while rejecting bail to Anand Teltumbde [Read judgment]

16/07/2021

Bar &Bench / by Neha Joshi

The Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court at Mumbai observed that there was sufficient material to reach to prima facie conclusion that the accusations against Bhima Koregaon accused Anand Teltumbde are prima facie true.
Read more
Read judgment


Special NIA Court Rejects Prof Anand Teltumbde’s Bail Application

12/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

A Special NIA Court, on Monday, rejected the bail application of former IIT professor and academic Anand Teltumbde, booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
Special Judge DE Kothalikar had reserved the application for orders on July 6, 2021. Teltumbde, 70, was arrested by the NIA on April 14, last year, after he surrendered before the agency following Supreme Court orders and applied for bail on merits in the special court on January 13, 2021.
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Also read: Castist forces cannot digest success of a Dalit scholar: Anand Teltumbde in his bail plea (Bar & Bench, Jan 2021)

State and NIA oppose default bail plea by Sudha Bharadwaj and 8 other accused in the case

State and NIA oppose default bail plea by Sudha Bharadwaj and 8 other accused in the case

UAPA Offences Will Go Before Special Court Only When NIA Investigates: Maharashtra Govt To Bombay High Court In Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail

15/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Opposing the default bail plea of Bhima Koregaon- Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, on Thursday, the Maharashtra Government said that orders passed by the Pune Judge Kishore Vadane were not without jurisdiction even though he was a sessions judge and not a Special Judge under the NIA Act.
During the last hearing Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar had said that the Court’s records were consistent with RTI replies received by Bharadwaj judge KD Vadane’s court was not notified as a special court under the NIA Act.
Read more


Update by Live Law (July 15)


#BombayHighCourt will hear lawyer-activist, #SudhaBharadwaj’s plea seeking default bail on the grounds that the Pune judge was not authorised to take cognisance of the chargesheet against her and others in 2019 +++
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar will also hear a petition by other accused in the Bhima Koregaon case seeking similar reliefs +++
Hearing begins. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for the State. Adv Yug Chaudhry for Sudha Bharadwaj +++


Read thread @LiveLawIndia



Also read: Cognizance Of Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? Bombay High Court To Examine (Live Law, July 8, 2021)

Plea against transfer of Bhima Koregaon probe from State Police an obstacle: NIA to Bombay HC

Plea against transfer of Bhima Koregaon probe from State Police an obstacle: NIA to Bombay HC

Plea against transfer of Bhima Koregaon probe from State Plice an obstacle: NIA to Bombay HC

13/07/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The plea challenging the transfer of probe in the Bhima Koregaon case from Pune Police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is an exercise is to impede and cause obstacles in the process of investigation by central agency, the NIA submitted before the Bombay High Court.
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NIA tells HC that Bhima-Koregaon case given to it because of ‘gravity of offence’

13/07/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

NIA tells HC that Bhima-Koregaon case given to it because of ‘gravity of offence’
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that, “considering the gravity of the offence and its inter-State link and implications on national security, the Central government had suo motu directed the NIA to take up the investigation” in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
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Also read: Petition filed in Bombay High Court challenging transfer of case investigation to NIA (The Leaflet, June 2020)

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea Alleging Planting Of Materials

13/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Pune police that was stripped of the investigations into the Bhima-Koregaon Elgar-Parishad case by the Union government in January 2020, has filed an affidavit on the same lines as the National Investigation Agency(NIA) opposing activist Rona Wilson’s petition seeking to quash the case before the Bombay High Court.
The affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Shrinivas Muralidhar Ghadge seeks dismissal of Wilson’s petition on grounds of maintainability, including stating that the report by USA based Arsenal Consulting is not admissible as it is not a part of any of the charge sheets filed by the investigating agencies.
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Pune Police opposes Rona Wilson’s plea alleging ‘planted’ evidence, calls it ‘premature’

13/07/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The Pune Police said the forensic report of the US-based consultancy was not a part of the chargesheet and can be looked into by the trial court and need to be dealt with currently by the high court.
The Pune Police has recently opposed a petition filed by Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, seeking to quash a chargesheet filed against them claiming the charges levelled were based on material that was allegedly planted on electronic devices of the activist.
Read more


Also read: Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire, July 7)

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

08/07/2021

The Quint / by Karan Tripathi

Bhima Koregaon accused can milk the Arsenal report to discredit the NIA’s entire case during the trial.
A day after the death of activist Father Stan Swamy, who had been under arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case under UAPA for alleged Maoist links, a report by Arsenal Consulting, an American forensic agency, has claimed that evidence was ‘planted’ on the computer of another activist, Surendra Gadling, another accused in the case, also currently under arrest.
The malware that targeted Gadling’s computer via emails also had several other Bhima-Koregaon accused, including Stan Swamy and Sudha Bhardwaj copied on the mails, Arsenal has claimed.
Read more


Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling

06/07/2021

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

In light of the recent revelation that the documents on Surendra Gadling’s computer, which has been used as evidence to arrest activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Bhima Koregaon case over the last three years were planted by hackers into the computer, Nihalsing Rathod explains what the report containing the revelation states, and answers questions that may cross one’s mind in light of this information.
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Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting

06/07/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Forensic digital investigations have raised serious questions about the Elgar Parishad investigation.
For over 20 months, lawyer and human rights defender Surendra Gadling’s computer was attacked and surveilled upon, and incriminating documents were planted on it. Gadling, one of the first people to be arrested among the 16 human rights activists, lawyers and academics in custody in the ongoing Elgar Parishad case, was cyber attacked since February 16, 2016 – two years before he was finally arrested on April 6, 2018. Fourteen significant documents, on the basis of which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has held him in jail for over three years, were planted on his computer using a malware NetWire.
Read more


Evidence found on a second Indian activist’s computer was planted, report says

06/07/2021

The Washington Post / by Niha Masih and Joanna Slater

The two activists were jailed in 2018 and accused of plotting an insurgency against the government. A new forensic report concludes they also shared something else: They were both victims of the same hacker who planted evidence on their computers.
The finding raises fresh doubts about a case that rights groups consider an effort to crack down on critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. More than a dozen activists have been imprisoned without trial under a stringent anti-terrorism law that rarely results in convictions.
Read more


NDTV (July 6):
@OnReality_Check | “Indian government should name the attacker. We only analyse evidence put in our hands”: Mark G Spencer, President Arsenal Consulting, on #BhimaKoregaon case

en | 4:05min | 2021
Watch video

Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

By LawBeat (July 15):
BombayHighCourt bench led by Justice SS Shinde to hear Lawyer-Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the #BhimaKoregaon – #ElgaParishad case seeking default bail contending that the trial judge was not authorised to take cognisance of the 2019 charge sheet against her.


Produce papers showing Pune judge was competent to pass orders, HC tells Maharashtra

08/07/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In a petition seeking default bail, activist Sudha Bharadwaj said that Sessions Judge KD Vadane was an additional judge and not a designated special judge.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to produce documents to show that the judge who granted an extension to the Pune Police to file the chargesheet in the Bhima Koregaon violence case and took cognisance of it was authorised to do so, PTI reported.
… The court posted the matter for next hearing on July 15.
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Cognizance Of Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? Bombay High Court To Examine

08/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Monday said that the Court’s records were consistent with lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s RTI replies, according to which Additional Sessions Judge (Pune) Kishore Vadane was not appointed as a Special Judge under the NIA Act in 2018/2019.
“Record is the same as you had annexed under RTI,” Justice SS Shinde heading the division bench said at the beginning of the hearing.
The court also asked the State if it had anything additional to show that the judge was assigned the case back then.
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Judge who extended chargesheet deadline not special judge under NIA Act, reveals Sudha Bharadwaj’s lawyer

06/07/2021

The Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

Trade unionist, human rights lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj through her advocate Yug Chaudhry claimed that the special judge, who extended the time to file chargesheet into the Bhima Koregaon violence case, and also took cognisance of the chargesheet, was not a special judge under the National Investigation Agency Act.
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Sudha Bharadwaj’s Bail Plea: Bombay High Court To Verify If Pune Sessions Judge Was Competent To Take Cognizance Of Chargesheet

06/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court said it would verify with the Registry if Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane was a Special Judge under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act in 2018/2019 and if he was authorised to take cognisance of the Pune police’s charge sheet against the accused in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar – Parishad Case.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar heard Bharadwaj’s plea seeking bail in default Under Sections 439, 482 and section 167(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Code read with section 43 D(2)of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. She has challenged two orders of Judge KD Vadane.
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8 accused in Bhima Koregaon seek bail as judge who rejected bail was not authorised

06/07/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday seeking bail on the ground that the special judge at Pune who rejected their default bail was not authorised to do so. Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira filed the petition through advocate R. Sathyanarayanan.
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Also read: Bombay High Court Seeks Reply On Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail In Bhima Koregaon Case (Live Law, June 2021)