Documents used by police not admissible: Bharadwaj’s lawyer

first_imgNone of the documents that the Pune Police relied on to implicate trade unionist and human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgar Parishad case are admissible in law, her lawyer told the Bombay High Court on Friday. Arguing for her bail before a single Bench of Justice S.V. Kotwal, advocate Yug Chaudhry submitted a compilation of documents to the court, and said they contained papers seized from the hard disks of the others accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence, but none from any device at Ms. Bharadwaj’s house.He said there is no evidence apart from the printouts from the others’ computers. He said, “It is not [the prosecution’s] case that [Ms. Bharadwaj] was there at Elgar Parishad and Bhima-Koregaon, and the only single witness in the case is the investigating officer.”Mr. Chaudhry said not a single document from the compilation is admissible in law. He said the prosecution has relied upon printouts and originals. Referring to the affidavit filed by the Pune Police, he said the documents were not produced by the computers, but were copied from the computers of the co-accused. So they could be scanned or downloaded from somewhere.He said the letters are not dated, so cannot be linked to Ms. Bharadwaj by handwriting analysis. The letters are unsigned, unverified and unauthorised as per Section 161 (examination of witnesses by police) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and none of them were seized from the residence of Ms. Bharadwaj.He said, “What we have are typed unsigned letters from A to B found at C’s computer mentioning something about [Ms. Bharadwaj].” He said for a document to be admissible in law, its authorship and truth has to be proved. Reading from the affidavit filed by the prosecution, Mr. Chaudhry said, “According to them, the role of the accused was not peripheral, but vital.” He read out a letter, whose image was found on the computer of jailed activist Rona Wilson: “on January 2, 2018, there was a mohalla meeting of special female naxal members and people attending the meeting were Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj.”Mr. Chaudhry said, “Shoma Sen is a retired professor of literature of the Nagpur University and Ms. Bharadwaj is a professor at National Law University, Delhi. She is the president’s representative in selecting a vice chancellor for the State of Chhattisgarh.” He said, however, as per the call detail records, Ms. Sen was in Mumbai and Ms. Bharadwaj was in Faridabad on the day in question. The hearing will continue on September 4.last_img

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