Shoma Sen files plea in HC to quash sanction to prosecute under UAPA

Petition also seeks release on bail as case is based on false evidence

Shoma Sen, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court to quash the sanction to prosecute her under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Ms. Sen, who was arrested on June 6, 2018, by the Pune police, is lodged at Byculla jail. She served as the head of the English department at Nagpur University and taught for 38 years. Ms. Sen’s petition also seeks her release on bail as the prosecution’s case is based on fraudulent evidence, which was allegedly fabricated and planted to implicate her.

The plea mentions the petition filed before the HC by her co-accused, Rona Wilson, who is lodged at Taloja Central Jail. Mr. Wilson’s plea relies on a report by a U.S.-based digital forensic analyst, who debunked all the electronic evidence gathered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The petition said, “There has been a grave misconduct by the prosecution in failing to conduct even the most basic checks on the reliability and authenticity of the electronic evidence. This is evident from multiple independent examinations of cloned copies of the electronic evidence provided to defence by the prosecution after a delay of more than one year. They reveal the existence of malware through which incriminating documents were planted on the devices of the accused.”

Ms. Sen said not only did the prosecution and the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Pune fail to adequately examine the evidence to establish its authenticity and reliability, but the FSL report also did not respond to the direct question from the investigating officer if there was any indication of the evidence being tampered with.

Referring to the chargesheet filed by the NIA, Ms. Sen pointed out that there was no evidence to prove the prosecution’s claim that the accused who are a part of several groups are frontal organisations of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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