Bhima-Koregaon: Spl UAPA Court Allows Copy Of Forensic Reports To Be Given To Accused Surendra Gadling and Arun Ferreira [Read Order]
The Special Court designated under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Pune has ordered copies of forensic reports submitted along with the police report, to be furnished to human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling and activist Arun Ferreira, accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Special Judge KD Wadane was hearing the application filed by both accused seeking directions for compliance under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Under S.207, the accused are entitled to be provided a copy of certain documents regarding their case free of cost.
Special Public Prosecutor opposed the application and argued that if such copies are given to the accused, they may misuse the data. She also pointed to proceedings pending against Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, other accused in the case stating that these reports contain highly sensitive data regarding "Naxalite activities of the accused."
Court examined sub-clause 5 of S.207 which states-
"In any case where proceeding has been instituted on the police report, Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost copies of any other documents or relevant extract thereof forwarded to the magistrate along with the police report."
Thus, Court concluded that accused are only entitled to free copies of documents which are filed by the investigating officer in court.
Further Court noted that the order for supplying copies of the said documents was already passed by the Court but since both the applicant accused refused to appear before the Nazir, hence a copy was not provided to them.
Finally, Court directed the Nazir of District Court to give notice to the investigating officer in the said case and prepare copies of forensic reports submitted along with the police report. Nazir was also directed to prepare an extra copy of all these documents and a video record the entire process of copying these forensic reports.
Ferreira and Gadling are named among the accused in the violence that took place at Bhima Koregaon village on January 1-2, 2018. Sudha Bhardwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale and Varavara Rao are the others accused in this case.