Sagar Gorkhe (Left) and Ramesh Gaichor (Right).
Sagar Gorkhe (Left) and Ramesh Gaichor (Right).
FPJ Photos

Kabir Kala Manch members Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently in the Elgaar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case told the special court on Friday that the agency tried to force them into making confessional statements or face arrest.

Special judge DE Kothalikar however said in his order that the law takes care about confession obtained by force or otherwise and that at this stage (of remand) it cannot be said that there is substance in the objection raised by Gorkhe and Gaichor.

Their advocate Nihalsing Rathod filed a pursis for the court to take on record Gorkhe's and Gaichor's submission regarding the attempt to get confessional statements. To this, the court said in its order that at this stage of remand it is supposed to enquire with the accused about ill-treatment at the hands of the police and that the court is not supposed to record their statement since it is on the point of forcing them to make confessional statements.

Advocate Rathod told FPJ that forcing one to make self-incriminatory confessions can amount to implication of others, creating false evidence and these results in interference in administration of justice. This is punishable under Sec 195A of the IPC (threatening any person to give false evidence) by up to seven years in prison. He pointed out that the accused were indirectly asked to commit perjury.

The court was supposed to record details of the manner in which the person was coerced if such an offence is brought to its notice, but that was not done, he said.

The NIA also intimated the court through an application that Gorkhe and Gaichor had uploaded a video on Youtube. In this video they have spoken about being asked to give confessional statements and that they will be spared arrest. The court in its order said that they are now in its custody and it can take steps to restrain them from uploading such videos or articles.

Adv Rathod said that the court did not hear them regarding this matter and it was an ex-parte order which they will challenge. “They (the NIA) mean to say that one does not have the right to speak on social media about being threatened to give confessional statements. How is it an offence,” he asked.

Gorkhe, Gaichor and Kabir Kala Manch cultural activist Jyoti Jagtap - also Gaichor’s partner arrested a day after their arrest, were sent to NIA custody till 19 September for further custodial interrogation.

Gadling’s plea to go home after mother’s demise, denied

The NIA court dismissed a plea of interim bail by human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling to visit his home for a ceremony after her mother passed away last month. The NIA had earlier objected to his plea stating that he had not submitted her death certificate. On Friday, the certificate was produced, but the plea was denied.

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Free Press Journal