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Elgar Parishad case: Prosecution, defence seek time to respond to NIA's plea

Last Updated : 03 February 2020, 15:32 IST
Last Updated : 03 February 2020, 15:32 IST

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The prosecution and the defence on Monday sought more time from a court here in Maharashtra to file their response on the National Investigation Agency's application seeking transfer of the Elgar Parishad case to a special NIA court in Mumbai.

After hearing both the sides, Additional Sessions Judge S R Navandar kept the matter for hearing on February 6.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said she had received the notice from the court regarding the NIA's application but added that she would need some more time to reply as she had not received any instructions from the investigation machinery.

"I have not received any instructions from the investigation machinery. I need more time to respond to the NIA's application as investigation team (Pune police) has written a letter to the Maharashtra Director General of Police office in Mumbai," she said.

Lawyers representing the accused also sought more time to file their say, citing they had not yet received any notice about the application filed by the NIA.

Gaurav Jachak, a lawyer representing the accused, said, "We have not yet received any notice regarding the application. Whatever information we have received about the NIA's application is from media reports," he said.

When judge Navandar asked the jailed accused if they had received the notice, they said they had not.

The NIA's public prosecutor, in his submission, requested the court to transfer the records, seized properties and court proceedings from Pune court to NIA's Special Court in Mumbai.

The National Investigation Agency last week filed an application before a Pune court hearing the Elgar Parishad case, seeking transfer of seized data, court records and proceedings of the case to the special NIA court in Mumbai.

The Centre last month transferred the probe into the Elgar Parishad case from Pune Police to the NIA, a decision which the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra criticised strongly.

The Pune Police told the NIA last week that case records will be handed over only after the state Director General of Police issues necessary orders.

The case is related to speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada here on December 31, 2017, and the next day's violence near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial in the district.

Pune Police claimed that the conclave was backed by Maoists, and the speeches made there triggered the violence.

During the probe, the police arrested activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao for alleged Maoist links.

The Pune Police have already filed two charge sheets in the case.

However, the new government in Maharashtra had taken steps to review the police probe.

The Congress and NCP had hit out at the Centre for handing over the case to the NIA, claiming it was done as the BJP feared the earlier government's wrongful actions would get "exposed".

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had last month demanded a Special Investigation Team to probe the action taken by Pune Police against the rights activists in the case.

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Published 03 February 2020, 15:32 IST

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