August 3, 2021 1:09:30 am
NATIONAL INVESTIGATION Agency (NIA) opposed the default bail plea filed by lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, and said the 90-day extension granted to Pune Police in 2018 by a trial court to file a chargesheet in the case did not cause any prejudice to the rights of the accused.
The NIA counsel was responding to claims made by Bharadwaj’s counsel advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry.
While referring to responses filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act availed from the High Court Registry, Chaudhry alleged that additional sessions judge K D Vadane of the trial court in Pune was not designated to hear matters regarding scheduled offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Bharadwaj’s plea also alleged that the judge was not authorised as a “special judge” to take cognizance of the supplementary chargesheet filed by Pune Police in February 2019.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, representing NIA, made submissions before a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar on Monday. The NIA took over the investigation from Pune Police in January 2020.
Singh submitted that the sessions judge passed orders in “pre-trial” stage, and till the case was transferred to special NIA court, the power to pass such decisions remained with sessions court and role of NIA came only at the stage of trial.
“There is no prejudice caused even if the sessions court had no jurisdiction… taking cognizance is irrespective of the default bail plea. Both are independent. What is required for cognizance is a chargesheet. Even if the UAPA is applicable, there is a difference in trial and pre-trial stage of the case,” Singh submitted, and sought for the plea to be dismissed.
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