Rona Wilson (42)
Mumbai: National Investigation Agency (NIA) has questioned the maintainability and sought dismissal of a quashing petition filed by Elgar Parishad case accused, Rona Wilson (42), who is relying on a US forensic lab report that indicated planting of evidence on his laptop.
The agency’s officer, in an affidavit in reply to Wilson’s February petition, said he “stoutly” denied the reports of Arsenal Consultancy and American Bar Association. The independent forensic report of a “malware’ attack on his computer “cannot be looked into at this stage’’, NIA said.
Wilson, relying on the report, alleged he was “framed by somebody’’. NIA said his petition did not mention by who, “if at all it even happened’’, hence it was “vague’’.
Wilson, a human rights activist, lodged at Taloja prison since his June 2018 arrest by Pune police, sought quashing of a chargesheet filed by NIA, which took over the probe in January 2020. He was “charged for his role and involvement in larger CPI (Maoist) conspiracy in light of clashes at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, after an Elgar Parishad programme on December 31 at Shaniwarwada, Pune,’’ NIA said.
The chargesheet invoked serious anti-terror offences under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the accused, apart from offences under IPC, including section 121 (waging war against Government of India), 124a (sedition), 120b (criminal conspiracy) and 153A IPC (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) evidence, he said, was subsequently relied by NIA to book him in the case. The last chargesheet against him was on October 10, 2020.
Wilson’s petition cited a February 8 digital forensics report from Arsenal, which said his computer had been “compromised’’ for 22 months. He urged the court to form an SIT to probe “planting of evidence”. The report had analysed a cloned copy of digital records he received from the prosecution on July 30, 2020.
Mark Stevens, president of Arsenal, in a 16-page report, had said Wilson’s was “one of the most serious cases involving evidence…