Elgar case:Court seeks to know how defence got forensic report

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Mumbai, Apr 9 (PTI) A special NIA court here hearing the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case has sought to know from a defence lawyer as to how he received a report of a digital forensics firm, which claimed that the evidence produced by the prosecution was planted after computer of one of the accused was hacked.

The court sought this clarification on Thursday.

The report of the firm, Arsenal Consulting, was addressed to the special court. However, the court said that it has not received it so far as.

The legal team of activist Anand Teltumbde, arrested in the case, had recently submitted the report to the court while arguing for his bail.

'On inquiry with the sheristedar (a court official), it is reported that the court has not received such a report (addressed to it),' it said.

The record reveals that at no point of time, the agency namely Arsenal Consulting was called upon by this court to submit the report, the court said in its note that was made available on Friday.

The court then asked that although it is yet to receive the copy of the report that is addressed to it, how did the defence lawyers get access to it.

The court asked Teltumbde's lawyer to clarify how he got the document.

Meanwhile, special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty objected to the report being relied upon by the defence while seeking bail for Teltumbde.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which submitted its reply on Thursday, said, 'The authenticity of the report remains a question. It cannot be admitted at this stage. It has to be tested at the time of the trial.' The Arsenal report states that activist Rona Wilson's laptop and thumb drive had been compromised for 22 months by the same attacker before it was seized by Pune police.

It further claimed that the attacker had planted the alleged letters that incriminated accused Rona Wilson and others on the laptop using a malware which was not known to Wilson.

In January this year, Teltumbde had filed a bail plea in the special court, claiming that no evidence was found against him and the prosecution theory that he was abetting others to wage a war against the government was all 'humbug'.

Opposing his bail, the probe agency has said it is 'absolutely false' to say there isno evidence against the accused.

Teltumbde and some other activists were initially booked by the Pune police after violence erupted near Koregaon-Bhima, on outskirts of Pune city, a day after the Elgar Parishad conclave was held in Pune The Pune police had alleged that inflammatory speeches and provocative statements made at the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune on December 31, 2017, triggered the violence at Koregaon-Bhima the next day.

According to police, the event was 'backed' by Maoists.

The NIA later took over the probe into the case. PTI AVI NP NP