Professor Shoma Sen, an accused in the Elgar-Parishad Maoists links case, has moved the Bombay High Court challenging the charges invoked against her under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The academic was arrested in June 2018 and has been lodged in the Byculla women’s prison here since then.
In her plea filed earlier this month in the HC, Sen has cited a report ofa US-based digital forensics firm that claimed a cyber attacker had used a malware to infiltrate a laptop belonging to activist Rona Wilson before his arrest, and inserted at least 10 incriminating letters on his computer. Wilson is Sen’s co-accused in the case and had himself approached the HC in February this year for a stay on proceedings against him and the others citing the report.
Sen has said in her plea that the entire case against her was built on electronic evidence that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed to have recovered from Wilson’s computer. In light of the US firm’s report, such evidence must not hold value in the eyes of law, she has said.
Her counsel Rahul Arote said the plea is yet to be assigned a date of hearing in the HC. Sen had applied for bail on medical grounds in March last year.
She had cited several ailments that she suffered from and said they made her more susceptible to contracting COVID- 19 while in jail. A special NIA court, however, had rejected her bail plea.
The case pertains to the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police alleged, was funded by Maoists. The NIA later took over the probe into the case in which over a dozen activists and academicians have been named as accused.
The accused have been booked under anti-terror act UAPA and other relevant laws.