The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court that rejected the bail petition of 83-year-old activist Stan Swamy said that he had conspired with members of a banned Maoist organisation to overthrow the government and create unrest in the country.
Swamy was denied bail in the Bhima Koregaon violence case on Monday, March 22, reported LiveLaw.
"Prima facie it can be gathered that the applicant along with other members of the banned organisation hatched a serious conspiracy to create unrest in the entire country and to overpower the government, politically and by using muscle power," the judge said in his order that was made public on Tuesday, March 23.
"Swamy was not only a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) but carried out activities to further the objective of the banned organisation to overthrow the democracy of the nation," the order by the NIA court read.
The order cited nearly140 emails between Swamy and other co-accused in the case, where the activist allegedly referred to them as "comrades". Swamy had received Rs 8 lakh from one comrade, Mohan, for promoting Maoist activities, the order mentioned.
The court also refused to consider the forensics report, which found that key evidence against a group of accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was planted using malware on a laptop seized by the police.
A report by a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm had revealed in February that an attacker used malware to infiltrate a laptop belonging to activist Rona Wilson before his arrest and deposited at least 10 incriminating letters on his computer.
The judge, however, said raising questions on the authenticity of the evidence in the case would amount to interference with the court proceedings. "It is well known that present proceeding is sub judice," he said. "Therefore, making any comments as to the evidence to be placed before the court would amount to interference in the administration of justice. In fact, such act is required to be deprecated."
Referring to Swamy's health conditions, the court said, "as such the old age and or alleged sickness of the applicant would not go in his favour."
The judge also accepted the prosecution's submissions, saying they had "substance". "Upon cumulative consideration of all the aforesaid circumstances as well as law on the subject, I conclude that the applicant has failed to make out a case for grant of bail," the court's order read.
Swamy has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and slapped with the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention).
In his bail plea, Swamy had alleged that he was being targeted by the central probe agency because of his writings and work related to caste and land struggles of the people and violation of democratic rights of the marginalised people of the country.
The bail plea also mentioned that the tribal rights priest was not connected in any way to the organisation of the Elgar Parishad event held in Pune on December 31, 2017. The NIA, however, claimed that it has sufficient evidence to prove that the activist was involved in the conspiracy.
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