Charges in Elgar case won’t be framed till Aug 25, NIA tells HC

Mumbai, Aug 20 (PTI):
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Friday that charges against the accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoists links case will not be framed till August 25.
The framing of charges — after which a trial starts — at the special NIA court was to take place on August 23, but the accused’s lawyers moved the high court saying that they had not yet received certain key documents from the prosecution.
Senior advocate Yug Chaudhry, who is representing activist Sudha Bharadwaj, told the HC that she and other accused were yet to receive a copy of draft charges submitted by the NIA.
Also, certain applications filed by the accused including one for clone copies of evidence had not been decided by the special court so far, he added. Advocate Sandesh Patil, the NIA lawyer, told a bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar that the Central agency will not proceed with framing of charges until Wednesday.
“We will get an adjournment (from the special court). This court (the HC) may hear the matter on Wednesday and until then we will not proceed with framing of charges. We will also provide the relevant documents to Mr Chaudhry’s client in the meanwhile,” Patil said.
On August 9, the NIA filed draft charges before the special court against the 15 accused.
They included around 20 charges invoked against the accused under the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Once draft charges are filed, the court hears the accused on each count and `frames’ the charges following which the trial begins.

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