Innocence Echoes: Supreme Court Questions Allegations in Bhima Koregaon Case

In a resounding verdict echoing the whispers of innocence, the Supreme Court unveiled a veil of doubt cast upon the accusations hurled against Shoma Sen in the Bhima Koregaon case. Nearly six years since her entanglement in the legal labyrinth, the apex court, granting her bail, questioned the very foundation of allegations under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 (UAPA).

A bench composed of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih meticulously dissected the evidentiary corpus presented by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Their discerning gaze discerned no solid ground to uphold the accusations as prima facie truths.

The Court, with measured scrutiny, reflected:

“โ€ฆwe are of the opinion that there is no reasonable ground for believing that the accusations against the appellants for commission of the offences incorporated in Chapter IV and VI of the 1967 Act are prima facie true.”

With the cloak of prima facie credibility shattered, the shackles of Section 43D(5), which once bound her, were dissolved.

Sen’s tryst with legal woes commenced with her arrest on June 6, 2018, amidst allegations of Maoist affiliations in connection with the Bhima Koregaon saga. Allegations under various sections of the UAPA ensnared her, painting a grim portrait of her purported involvement.

The court, however, dissected each allegation with surgical precision. It discerned no trace of a terrorist agenda in Sen’s endeavors. Her participation in the Elgaar Parishad meeting, though acknowledged, bore no traces of nefarious intent.

“โ€ฆthere is no allegation that she had delivered any provocative speech. She was also not named in the initial FIR which was registered at Vishrambaug Police Station, Pune on 08.01.2018.,” the Court expounded.

Furthermore, allegations of fundraising for terrorist activities crumbled under the weight of flimsy evidence, mere third-party whispers bereft of substance.

The narrative of conspiracy woven around her was equally frail. Sen’s endeavors to rally women towards a democratic renaissance were deemed insufficient to incriminate her under Section 18 of the UAPA.

Moreover, the court debunked claims of her membership in the banned Maoist outfit, unraveling the tenuous threads of accusation spun by the prosecution.

In a nuanced reflection on justice and constitutional sanctity, the Court invoked the case of KA Najeeb, affirming the right to bail despite the UAPA’s stringent clauses. It underscored the imperative of a fair and speedy trial, recognizing Sen’s advanced age and deteriorating health as pertinent considerations.

The voices of advocacy resonated in the courtroom, with Senior advocate Anand Grover leading the charge for Sen’s exoneration. On the opposing front, the state’s representatives fervently defended their stance, but to no avail.

In the labyrinthine corridors of justice, innocence found its echo as the Supreme Court delivered its verdict. Yet, amidst the exultation of bail, the shadows of trial loomed, reminding all that this reprieve was but a fleeting respite in the enduring quest for truth and justice.

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