July 28, 2021 11:44:02 pm
The special court hearing the Elgaar Parishad case has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to submit draft charges against the 15 accused.
On Wednesday, a plea on behalf of accused activist Gautam Navlakha was filed before the court seeking to defer the process of framing of charges till he is provided a cloned copy of the electronic devices seized by investigating officials.
Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar directed the NIA to submit the draft charges on the next hearing on August 9 and said once it is done, Navlakha and other accused will be called to make their respective submissions. It said the issue of cloned copies can be raised then.
The process of framing of charges is when the investigating agency submits its prima facie case against the charges along with the sections they would be charged with. The accused can deny charges following which the trial commences. The 15 accused have been booked under charges, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
On Wednesday, the NIA also filed its replies to the interim bail applications sent from Taloja jail by three accused – Navlaka, Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves. The NIA has opposed their pleas stating that they have been charged with serious offences.
The three men, who are above 60, filed the interim pleas citing their age and the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, two other accused members of cultural group Kabir Kala Manch, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor have also filed for bail.
The court has asked the NIA to file its reply on the plea. The court also directed the Taloja jail superintendent to medically examine Teltumbde after he complained of a medical condition. It directed him to be referred for further tests if advised by the chief medical officer of the Taloja jail and asked for a report to be submitted.
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