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Bhima Koregaon case: Bom HC seeks State’s response in Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson petitions

The court has posted the hearing for the petitions on June 16, while State has sought time to file response

Sabrangindia 05 May 2021

bhima koregaon
Image: Monica Chaturvedi / The Indian Express
 

The Bombay High Court has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the state of Maharashtra to file their respective responses to the petitions filed by Rona Wilson and Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, reported The Leaflet.

Wilson and Sen, through their separate petitions have challenged the decision of the Maharashtra Government granting sanction to prosecute them under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as also the chargesheet filed against them while alleging that the evidence against them has been planted on their digital devices. 

In February it was reported that Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm analysed an electronic copy of activist Rona Wilson’s laptop and arrived at the conclusion that an attacker used malware to infiltrate the laptop and place incriminating evidence on it. “Arsenal Consulting found that the letter — along with at least nine others — had been planted in a hidden folder on Wilson’s computer by an unidentified attacker who used malware to control and spy on the laptop,” a report by The Washington post said.

A bench of Justice Manish Pitale and Justice SS Shinde heard Senior Advocate Indira Jaising Wilson, and Senior Advocate Anand Grover for Sen. Both Wilson and Sen have been in custody since 2018. NIA sought time to file reply in Sen’s petition. In it’s reply filed in Wilson’s petition, the NIA took objection to the maintainability of the petition considering the fact that the trial court had already taken cognisance of the charges filed.

ASG Anil Singh, appearing for NIA, submitted that the entire petition was based upon a forensic report made by the American-based, Arsenal Consulting and that the said report was inadmissible. Rebutting this, Jaising submitted that she could argue the matter on the face of the record. She further submitted that there were serious allegations of tampering and that someone has to answer for the same, reported The Leaflet. “This is the first time the court will be dealing with the concept of ‘secured evidence.’ We may need the assistance of technical experts,” Jaising added.

Sen has asserted in her petition that the case against her was based solely on the electronic records allegedly recovered from Wilson’s home and is thus based on unfounded, forged, hearsay evidence that was planted on Wilson’s digital devices.

The matter has been posted for hearing on June 16, after court’s vacation.

Related:

Bhima Koregaon case: Was evidence planted to implicate activists?

Primary goals were surveillance and incriminating document delivery: Arsenal Report

Rona Wilson moves Bombay HC, demands probe into ‘planted evidence’

Former Professor Shoma Sen moves Bombay HC against UAPA charges

Bhima Koregaon case: Bom HC seeks State’s response in Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson petitions

The court has posted the hearing for the petitions on June 16, while State has sought time to file response

bhima koregaon
Image: Monica Chaturvedi / The Indian Express
 

The Bombay High Court has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the state of Maharashtra to file their respective responses to the petitions filed by Rona Wilson and Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, reported The Leaflet.

Wilson and Sen, through their separate petitions have challenged the decision of the Maharashtra Government granting sanction to prosecute them under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as also the chargesheet filed against them while alleging that the evidence against them has been planted on their digital devices. 

In February it was reported that Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm analysed an electronic copy of activist Rona Wilson’s laptop and arrived at the conclusion that an attacker used malware to infiltrate the laptop and place incriminating evidence on it. “Arsenal Consulting found that the letter — along with at least nine others — had been planted in a hidden folder on Wilson’s computer by an unidentified attacker who used malware to control and spy on the laptop,” a report by The Washington post said.

A bench of Justice Manish Pitale and Justice SS Shinde heard Senior Advocate Indira Jaising Wilson, and Senior Advocate Anand Grover for Sen. Both Wilson and Sen have been in custody since 2018. NIA sought time to file reply in Sen’s petition. In it’s reply filed in Wilson’s petition, the NIA took objection to the maintainability of the petition considering the fact that the trial court had already taken cognisance of the charges filed.

ASG Anil Singh, appearing for NIA, submitted that the entire petition was based upon a forensic report made by the American-based, Arsenal Consulting and that the said report was inadmissible. Rebutting this, Jaising submitted that she could argue the matter on the face of the record. She further submitted that there were serious allegations of tampering and that someone has to answer for the same, reported The Leaflet. “This is the first time the court will be dealing with the concept of ‘secured evidence.’ We may need the assistance of technical experts,” Jaising added.

Sen has asserted in her petition that the case against her was based solely on the electronic records allegedly recovered from Wilson’s home and is thus based on unfounded, forged, hearsay evidence that was planted on Wilson’s digital devices.

The matter has been posted for hearing on June 16, after court’s vacation.

Related:

Bhima Koregaon case: Was evidence planted to implicate activists?

Primary goals were surveillance and incriminating document delivery: Arsenal Report

Rona Wilson moves Bombay HC, demands probe into ‘planted evidence’

Former Professor Shoma Sen moves Bombay HC against UAPA charges

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