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Supreme Court seeks response of Maharashtra government and NIA in bail pleas of Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen

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The Supreme Court has asked the Maharashtra government and the National Investigation Agency (NIA)for a response on the bail pleas that were filed by the Bhima Koregaon violence accused namely Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen.

A notice has been issues to the State and NIA by the Bench comprising of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia in this regard.

Talking about Sen, she was an English literature professor along with being a women’s rights activist, and was arrested on June 6, 2018.

She had applied for bail before the Pune Sessions Court in December 2018 before the chargesheets were filed.

Both the applications were rejected by the sessions court by way of common order of November 2019.

The investigation in the case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the trial was transferred to the special NIA court.

In 2020, Sen approached the High Court for bail.

The application was first listed before a single-judge of the High Court. The single-judge then transferred the matter to the division bench since NIA appeals have to be heard by a division bench.

Sen then made an application seeking to convert the bail application into an appeal.

Sen says that she was implicated and was falsely arrested because she had exposed illegal arrests and tortures.

She said that there was deliberate and conscious omission on the part of the investigating agency to maintain the integrity of the electronic evidence allegedly seized from Sen.

Sen in her plea has said that merely because the name ‘Shoma Sen’ is mentioned in any of these so called electronic letters cannot be a reasonable ground to deny Bail to the Applicant.

She added that the communications allegedly found from hard disks of the co-accused mentions name of a lawful and registered organization such as ‘Anuradha Gandhy Memorial Committee’ cannot be sufficient ground to brand such an organization as a front organization of the proscribed CPI (Maoist).

The plea added that such branding of a lawful and legal organization / Society in such an arbitrary manner amounts to unreasonable, unfair and unjust acts of the investigating agency.

The High Court, however, directed Sen to first approach the lower court and disposed of the plea.

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