Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed the pleas for parole made by activists Rona Wilson and Arun Ferreira, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, stating that granting parole to Wilson is a ‘danger to the democratic setup of the country and to the safety of the citizens.
In the reply filed through Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty, the agency has said that during investigation it is revealed that the applicant Wilson and other co-accused had conspired to mobilise masses and to spread hatred against the government through provocative speeches, songs, plays, etc. “The acts of the accused were not restricted to creating disharmony between the two communities, but they were actually indulging in activities which were against the nation,” the reply read.
Wilson was involved in unlawful activities against the state and offences related to national security and his release on parole may cause a big threat to witnesses and tampering with evidence, the agency stated.
On technical grounds, the NIA said that there was no provision under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) under which they are charged, to grant temporary relief to them by way of parole or bail. Also, it said that the guideline issued by the apex court to release prisoners on temporary bail or parole considering the pandemic is not applicable to the case. It said further that the plea is not within the jurisdiction of the court as parole is granted to convicts and the present accused are undertrials.
The agency stated further that the prison authorities may be directed by the court to take necessary care of the applicants in the prevailing pandemic situation, but prayed that their pleas be rejected.
Wilson’s advocate R Sathyanarayan responded to the NIA’s statement that Wilson is a danger to the democratic setup of the country, saying that these are allegations and shall be dealt with.