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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Shoma Sen challenges UAPA prosecution before Bombay HC, says evidence against her ‘planted and forged’

Sen alleged that the case against her is based on "forged and hearsay" evidence that was "planted" on devices allegedly belonging to co-accused Rona Wilson.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
April 14, 2021 10:22:15 pm
Elgaar Parishad, UAPA, Shoma Sen, Bombay High Court, Mumbai news, indian expressProfessor Shoma Sen (Express Photo by Monica Chaturvedi)

Shoma Sen, professor and one of the 16 accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, recently moved the Bombay High Court challenging her prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Sen alleged that the case against her is based on “forged and hearsay” evidence that was “planted” on devices allegedly belonging to co-accused Rona Wilson.

Sen, who was arrested in June 2018, approached the High Court nearly two months after Wilson moved a plea in February, seeking the FIR and chargesheet filed against him to be quashed.

Wilson, in support of his plea, cited a report of a US-based digital consultant that says “incriminating evidence” found by investigators in his laptop was “planted”.

Sen alleged that the evidence on Wilson’s digital device was “illegally” seized in complete violation of all safeguards and procedures of law.

Wilson’s petition referred to a report by Arsenal Consulting, a US-based digital forensics consulting company, which concluded that his computer was “infected with a malware”, allegedly planted through an email before his arrest on June 6, 2018.

In light of this, Sen, in her plea said the entire case against her was based only on the said electronic evidence, which was allegedly recovered from Wilson’s home and contained purported letters between the co-accused and members of CPI (Maoist), a banned terrorist organisation.

Sen, pointing out that the prosecution (NIA) did not present any other corroborative or supporting evidence against her, said the “independent verifications” of the cloned copy of the evidence indicated that the same was “forged, fabricated and planted through dangerous malware”.

Sen also said the report by the regional Forensic Science Laboratory was silent on the existence of malware or the evidence of tampering and, therefore, such electronic evidence cannot be relied upon.

Sen also claimed that police did not comply with standard operating procedures while seizing the electronic devices on April 17, 2018, and guidelines were violated and; therefore, proceedings against her were illegal.

While Wilson’s plea has not come up for hearing before the HC yet, Sen’s plea is likely to be heard in due course.

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