A Mumbai Sessions Court rejected an application filed by lawyer activist Sudha Bharadwaj in the Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court at Mumbai praying for the withdrawal of the allegations made against her in the reply filed by the NIA, reported The Indian Express.In December, 2020, the human rights defender sought an order reprimanding the NIA and Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty for their “irresponsible conduct” in making statements against her and an order restraining them from making similar statements in the future, according to Bar & Bench.She had alleged in her application that the NIA’s reply had defamatory statements made against her. She further stated that as an undertrial prisoner, there was a presumption of innocence in her favour, and that the NIA’s statements lacked proof, and could cause harm to the witnesses.
The NIA’s reply read, “It is pertinent to observe that by way of this present application the accused Sudha Bharadwaj is digging the identities of the aforesaid witnesses so as to cause harm to them.”
The Special NIA court at Mumbai had also directed the NIA to provide copies of the unredacted witness statements of the witnesses to the Bhima Koregaon accused. She had contended that she could not comprehend the copies of witness statements, which were provided to her previously, due to portions of the same being truncated.
The Court said that the statements should be provided to her without truncation except for the identity and addresses of the witnesses. The court also directed the NIA to take due care in future regarding providing copies of statements of witnesses. In January, the court also allowed her to access five books from prison.