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Elgar Parishad Case: Bombay HC Directs State Govt To Respond To Shoma Sen’s Petition

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The Bombay High Court directed the state government to respond to the petitions by Elgaar Parishad accused Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson.

The writ petition by Rona Wilson seeks that the FIR and charge sheet against him is quashed. Wilson cited the US-based consultancy report that claimed that the “incriminating evidence” found by investigators in his laptop was “planted”. The Maharashtra government was asked to respond to the plea by co-accused Shoma Sen. Sen’s plea challenged her prosecution under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on similar grounds.

The Elgaar Parishad case was being investigated by the Pune Police before being transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA opposed Wilson’s plea and said that the allegations that documents were planted in his laptop were “uncalled for”. It added that the US-based consultancy report was not part of the charge sheet against Wilson, thus it can only be used during the trial. The report can not be used by the petitioner while submitting a plea.

The division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale heard Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen’s plea. Senior Counsels Anand Grover and Indira Jaising represented Sen and Wilson respectively. Jaising submitted that Wilson had challenged his charges in 2018, and the case transferred to NIA in January 2020. Thus the state government, through the investigating officer, was required to respond to the allegations Wilson made of tampering with his computer.

Jaising said that “There are serious allegations of tampering. The then investigating officer should also file an affidavit. He has suppressed information from the sanctioning authority.”

Grover, representing Sen made a similar request, seeking a response from the state government.

The Public Prosecutor Deepak Thakare sought the period of four weeks to respond to the plea. The court accepted and posted the matter next for June 16.