A division Bench of the Supreme Court today observed that as per the parameters set in the bail judgment of co-accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, the contents of the recovered electronic evidence will be analysed to check whether it constitutes an offence under Chapters V and VI of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
TODAY, the Supreme Court observed that the parameters set in the judgment granting bail to co-accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira will be applied to thebail plea of anti-caste activist and musical performer, Jyoti Jagtap.
A division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol adjourned Jagtap’s plea for a grant of regular bail.
However, while granting bail to Gonsalves and Ferreira, the court decided to analyse the probative value of evidence relied upon by the agency, he said.
In respect of Jagtap, Justice Bose observed that as per the parameters set in the bail judgment of Gonsalves and Ferreira, the court will analyse whether the content of the recovered electronic evidence constitutes an offence under Chapters V and VI of the UAPA.
The matter has been adjourned for further hearing to November 30.
On February 14, 2022, a special NIA courtdenied bail to Jagtap and three other co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. The court maintained that the accused had hatched a “serious conspiracy” to create unrest in the country.
On October 17, 2022, the Bombay High Court rejected her appeal which was filed against the Order of a special court under theNational Investigation Agency, Act, dated February 14, 2022, under which her bail application was rejected.
According to the high court, Jagtap was involved in a “terrorist act” by organising the Elgar Parishad event and associating with prominent members of the banned organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Trial is yet to begin in the Bhima Koregaon case. The prosecution has filed a chargesheet exceeding 5,000 pages and intends to cross-examine at least 200 witnesses. Several of the accused persons have now spent almost five years in judicial custody without trial.
Six of the accused persons, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Mahesh Raut have managed to secure bail so far. Father Stan Swamy, who was a co-accused,passed away due to Covid in custody in June 2021 after incarceration of over seven months.
An investigation by Arsenal Consulting, a leading, independent expert firm on digital forensics, has revealed that sophisticated malware was used to plant the digital evidence that forms the basis for the prosecution’s case on the devices of two of the accused persons in the case, Gadling and Wilson.