By Bar & Bench (March 30):
Bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay High Court recuses from hearing default bail pleas of Bhima Koregoan accused Mahesh Raut and 3 others.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay HC recuses from hearing bail plea of Mahesh Raut, others
India Legal / by India Legal
Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay High Court on Thursday recused herself from hearing the default bail petitions of Mahesh Raut and three others, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad Maoists links case of 2018.
Earlier on March 1, the High Court had issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the default bail plea of Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson, who were arrested on June 6, 2018 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Read more
Bombay High Court seeks NIA response to plea by 4 accused for default bail
Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi
The four accused have challenged an order of a special NIA court rejecting their default bail pleas. They sought parity with Sudha Bharadwaj, a co-accused who was granted default bail by the High Court in 2021.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea for default bail filed by four persons accused in the Bhima Koregaon case [Mahesh Raut & 4 others v. National Investigation Agency]. Read more
4 accused seek bail from Bombay HC on parity with Sudha Bharadwaj
India Today / by Vidya
Four accused in the Elgar Parishad case sought bail in the Bombay High Court on parity with Sudha Bharadwaj, who was granted default bail in 2021 in the same case.
The Bombay High Court has issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and sought a reply to the bail petition of four Elgar Parishad accused – Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson.
… NIA will have to file their reply in three weeks. Read more
How proper file, malware, and memory forensics techniques were able to catch the ModifiedElephant threat actor planting incriminating evidence on defendants’ computers in India.
I agreed in late 2022 to independently review a new digital forensics report from Arsenal Consulting (hereafter: Arsenal), which was still under embargo. Niha Masih, an award-winning reporter with The Washington Post, reached out to me in early December and explained that she had written a series of articles (based on Arsenal reports) about Indian activists in the “Bhima Koregaon” case who were hacked and had evidence planted on their devices before their arrests. Niha asked if I would be able to validate Arsenal’s work. Read more
Indian government asked to apologize for framing Stan Swamy
Matters India / by Matters India Reporter
Catholic Church leaders have sought an “unconditional apology” from the Indian government for the custodial death of Father Stan Swamy after a US based digital forensic firm has found that the late Jesuit was falsely implicated in a sedition case.
“At least at this stage, the government and its probe agency should tender an unconditional apology to people for the unjust arrest, inhuman incarceration and custodial death of Father Swamy for no fault of his,” says Jesuit Father A Santhanam, convener of the National Lawyers Forum of Religious and Priests (NLFRP). Read more
Planting of evidence against Stan Swamy ‘blot on justice system’, say politicians, social bodies
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
A news report claimed that a hacker planted evidence on a device owned by the tribal rights activist, who died in July last year.
Hours after a report claimed that a hacker planted evidence on a device owned by tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, several politicians, academics, activists and social organisations on Tuesday denounced the incident and described it as a “blot on the justice system”.
“Is this how a democratic country treats its own?” Congress leader Salman Anees Soz tweeted. “The courts must introspect. Is this the best they can do? Read more
Indian govt ‘must come clean on Fr Stan Swamy’s death’
UCA News / by UCA News Reporter
Evidence ‘planted’ on the late Jesuit priest’s computer to ‘falsely’ implicate him in the Bhima-Koregaon case, US agency says.
Catholic activists and priests want the Indian government to “take full responsibility” for the custodial death of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy after latest findings by US-based digital forensic experts that false evidence was planted on the priest’s computer by hacking it. Read more
by CPI (M) @cpimspeak (Dec 14, 2022):
CPI(M) demands that all the Bhima Koregaon accused be immediately released from jail; NIA should not deny their bail applications and or discharge appeals; an expert, fair re-examination taking into account the forensic evidence available should be made in a timebound framework.
Incriminating document found in Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer ‘planted’; similar tampering found in other Bhima Koregaon accused: Reports American forensic firm
The Leaflet / by Gursimran Kaur Kakshi
Previously, similar evidence of planting have also been found by the same firm, Arsenal, in the computer of mobile devices of Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling, two other accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
ON December 11, Arsenal Consulting, a United States-based digital forensic analysis firm, revealed that tribal rights activist and one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, the late Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer was compromised over the course of three distinct campaigns, beginning on October 19, 2014, and ending with the seizure of his computer by the Pune police department on June 12, 2019. Read more
Hackers planted evidence on computer of jailed Indian priest, report says
The Washington Post / by Niha Masih
Father Stan Swamy died after spending more than eight months in jail on terrorism charges
For months, Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest, claimed his innocence in courts and pleaded for medical care, but Indian authorities denied him bail. He died at a hospital in July 2021 after spending more than eight months in jail on terrorism charges.
Now, an examination of an electronic copy of his computer by Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm, concludes that a hacker infiltrated his device and planted evidence, according to a new report by the company. Read more
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody
Wired / by Andy Greenberg
And new evidence suggests those hackers may have collaborated with the police who investigated him.
The case of the Bhima Koregaon 16, in which hackers planted fake evidence on the computers of two Indian human rights activists that led to their arrest along with more than a dozen colleagues, has already become notorious worldwide. Now the tragedy and injustice of that case is coming further into focus: A forensics firm has found signs that the same hackers also planted evidence on the hard drive of another high-profile defendant in the case who later died in jail—as well as fresh clues that the hackers who fabricated that evidence were collaborating with the Pune City Police investigating him. Read more
Evidence Planted On Activist Stan Swamy’s Laptop, Claims US Report
NDTV / by Aruveetil Mariyam Alavi, Sreenivasan Jain
The report blasts a hole in the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) charges against Stan Swamy.
A new report by an American forensic firm shows that multiple incriminating documents were planted in the computer of Father Stan Swamy, the 83-year-old activist-priest who was arrested for alleged terror links in 2020 and who died in custody a year later. Read more
The remaining 11 continue to languish in jail — Who are they and what is the status of the case against them?
Anti-caste writer Anand Teltumbde, who walked out of jail on Saturday, 26 November, after he was granted bail on merits in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case said:
“I am definitely happy. It has been 30 months that I have been in prison. The sad part, however, is that we had to spend time in jail after being booked in a fake case.”
In the same case, two others, poet Varavara Rao and lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj – were granted bail earlier due to different reasons, while academic Gautam Navlakha was allowed house arrest on health grounds by a 19 November Supreme Court order. Read more
Will rely on ‘historic’ verdict to secure release of Elgar Parishad case accused: Lawyer
The Times of India / by Vaibhav Ganjapure
After securing acquittal for Prof GN Saibaba and four others primarily based on absence of sanction under UAPA’s Section 45 (1), his lawyers now have plan to rely on the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court’s verdict for securing the release of several accused who are also behind bars in the Elgar Elgar Parishad case. Read more
As GN Saibaba gets bail in Maoist link case, let’s recall the Elgar Parishad–Bhima Koregaon case
Free Press Journal / by Urvi Mahajan
More than eight years after his arrest, the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case for want of valid sanction for prosecution under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA…
With GN Saibaba getting acquitted by the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench on Friday, here’s a look at the other Maoist-link case which is the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
In the Bhima-Koregaon case, the investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, the initial probe being done by the Pune police. Most of the accused have spent years in custody, being arrested in August 2018. Read more
Bombay HC Frees Saibaba, Others in ‘Maoist Link’ Case
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
The Nagpur bench of the high court allowed the appeal of all six convicted persons, including Pandu Narote who died in August this year.
Former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and five others were acquitted in the Maoist links case by the Bombay high court, allowing their appeal against conviction and life sentence…
After Saibaba’s conviction, his lawyer in the lower court, Surendra Gadling; his colleague Hany Babu; and his close friend Rona Wilson were also arrested in years to come under the UAPA charges. While Gadling fought his case in court, Babu and Wilson had run a campaign for his release. All three are named as prime accused in the Elgar Parishad case of 2018. Read more
After 5 benches recuse, Elgaar case accused seeks suitable HC bench
The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak
Wilson had, in February 2021, moved a petition before the high court citing the report of a US-based digital consultant which said that his computer was ‘infected with malware’ planted two years before his arrest in 2018. The last effective hearing before the high court on Wilson’s petition was on August 4, 2021.
Activist Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, on Thursday told a special court that he has written to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court seeking a suitable bench to hear and dispose of a petition filed by him in a time-bound manner, as five benches have, so far, recused themselves from hearings on the case. Read more
Rona Wilson writes to high court CJ for early hearing of discharge plea
Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah
Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon violence case, has requested the Chief Justice of Bombay high court to expedite the hearing of his discharge plea based on the report by an American digital consultancy firm.
He had approached the high court in February last year to quash the case against him and to issue directions for setting up a special investigation team headed by a retired supreme court or high court judge to conduct a forensic analysis of the electronic evidence the police claimed to have collected against the accused. Read more
NIA wants to use witness statements from Elgar Parishad in Gadchiroli blast case
Hindustan Times / by Charol Shah
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed that Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, met with an accused who is wanted in the deaths of 15 police personnel in the Jamburkheda blast in Gadchiroli.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed that Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, met with an accused who is wanted in the deaths of 15 police personnel in the Jamburkheda blast in Gadchiroli. Read more
Mumbai court allows NIA to file evidence from Elgar Parishad probe in Gadchiroli blast case
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The judge allowed the agency to produce the statements of two witnesses and a photo identification panchnama.
… The National Investigation Agency, in an application before Special Judge Rajesh Kataria, said that some evidence needed to be brought on record in the Gadchiroli attack case. The court allowed the agency to produce the statements of two witnesses and a photo identification panchnama, according to The Times of India. Read more
Jyoti Jagtap moves Bombay HC challenging special court’s bail rejection order
NIA opposes bail plea of Elgar Parishad accused Jyoti Jagtap, says she received arms training
India Today / by Vidya
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday opposed the bail plea of Jyoti Jagtap who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday opposed the bail plea of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) member Jyoti Jagtap, who is accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad case. Jagtap was arrested on September 8, 2020 and a charge sheet was filed against her on October 9, 2020.
… A division bench of the High Court will hear the plea on September 13. Read more
Jyoti Jagtap moves Bombay HC challenging special court’s bail rejection order
The Indian Express / by Express News Service
In the plea filed through advocate Kritika Agarwal, Jagtap said she is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case. Jagtap said the special court erred in concluding that a prima facie case existed against her.
An accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, Jyoti Jagtap, recently approached the Bombay High Court challenging an order of a special court that denied her regular bail. A division bench of Justice Ajay S Gadkari and Justice Milind N Jadhav Tuesday posted hearing after two weeks. Read more