Elgar Parishad case: Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha seek cloned copies of all electronic evidence

NIA Friday told the High Court that it will not press for framing of charges against the accused persons in the special court till August 25 and meanwhile, it will provide relevant documents to the petitioners

Elgar Parishad case accused Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha recently approached the Bombay High Court seeking cloned copies of all the electronic evidence relied upon by the National investigation Agency (NIA) against the accused persons.

In response, NIA Friday told the High Court that it will not press for framing of charges against the accused persons in the special court till August 25 and meanwhile, it will provide relevant documents to the petitioners.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and N J Jamadar Friday was hearing an appeal by Bharadwaj filed through advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry against the June 23 NIA court order that rejected the plea seeking clone copies.

Navlakha has also filed an appeal in the High Court seeking similar directions, including stay on the trial, till the cloned copies have been made available.

While the special court had said that it would consider the draft charges submitted by NIA from August 23, beginning the process of framing charges after which the trial commences, Chaudhry said the accused persons had not yet received certain material, including cloned copies of the digital hard disc recovered by the probing agency.

Advocate Sandesh Patil for NIA said that the central agency will not proceed with framing of charges until Wednesday.

“We will seek adjournment from the Special NIA Court. The HC may hear the pleas on Wednesday and until then we will instruct our counsel in special court not to proceed with framing of charges,” Patil said.

On August 9, the NIA submitted in the court the draft charges against the 15 accused arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. The charges include sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act pertaining to terrorist acts, unlawful activities, conspiracy, membership of the banned organisation and raising funds for it.

The NIA has also proposed to charge the accused for criminal conspiracy, waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting a war against the Government of India, sedition and promoting enmity under sections of the Indian Penal Code.

HC will hear the pleas next on August 25.

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