The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said no sanctity can be attached to the US-based digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting’s report. It said this in reply to a plea by activist Anand Teltumbde, to be allowed to rely on the findings of the report in support of his bail application.
The findings of the report had concluded that incriminating evidence had been planted through malware in Teltumbde’s co-accused Rona Wilson’s computer. Letters recovered from Wilson's computer had been cited by the NIA as evidence against other co-accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case too as there were purportedly exchanges shown between the co-accused in the case in these correspondences recovered from the data in his computer.
The NIA on Thursday filed a reply to this plea to be allowed to rely on the report. Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty said the reply stated that it (the Arsenal report) is a suspicious document that cannot be relied on. Further, the agency states in its reply, he said, that the document is not authenticated and that the firm (Arsenal Consulting) is not an approved agency and hence no sanctity can be attached to it. Shetty added that the plea was also opposed on the ground that the document cannot be relied on at this stage unless it is proved.
Special Judge Dinesh E. Kothalikar questioned the defence on pursuing the report that arrived with the title of the US firm and was handed over by the defence to the court, that it has been addressed to the court, but that on inquiry with the court staff, it is found that no such report has been received by the court.
“Record reveals that at no point in time, the agency namely Arsenal Consulting was called upon by this court to submit the report," the court said. It questioned the defence how it had come in the custody of the document that is purportedly addressed to the court.