A special court has permitted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to submit three important witness statements recorded in the Elgaar Parishad case, to be produced as additional evidence in the naxal attack case in Gadchiroli of 2019.
In the IED blast that took place on May 1, 2019, 15 security personnel and a civilian had lost their lives. In its application before the special court, the agency had said that in the Elgaar case it had submitted evidence in respect of Communist Party of India (Maoist) activities. The plea said the evidence has connection and relevance with the present case as also a bearing on it. It is necessary, the agency said, to permit it to file the statements as additional evidence and sought that they be made part of the original chargesheet in the interest of justice.
The defence had strongly opposed the procedure by which the NIA had proposed that the court take the statements on record. It said such a practice of submitting the documents in an application with such a prayer is “wholly alien” to the practice and procedure of criminal law. It said while opposing the bail plea of one of the accused before the Bombay High Court, the NIA had used these same documents and the HC had noted that the documents cannot be brought on record by merely making an application when they were not submitted with the supplementary chargesheet. It called the stage at which it was filing the documents as a belated one and sought that the application be rejected.