Elgar Parishad: no proof against Ferreira, lawyer tells HC
The advocate appearing for activist Arun Ferreira, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case, told the Bombay High Court on Friday that the Pune Police had arrested the activist only based on documents and letters recovered from computers of the other co-accused in the case. He said there was no corroborative evidence to implicate Mr. Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon violence.Arguing for the activist’s bail, advocate Sudeep Pasbola also told a Single Bench of Justice S.V. Kotwal that he was being targeted because he had assisted advocate Surendra Gadling, also lodged at Yerwada jail with him, in a case pertaining to activities of the CPI (Maoist) before the Nagpur Bench of the HC.Mr. Pasbola told the Bench that Mr. Ferreira was behind bars for nearly five years after being wrongly implicated — and later acquitted — in 12 cases in 2007.He said Mr. Ferreira was an office-bearer of the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), which was headed by Mr. Gadling. Sudha Bharadwaj, also an accused in the case, was its vice-president. Mr. Pasbola said the IAPL was not a banned organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, but the fact that Mr. Ferreira had participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of the CPI (Maoist) movement held under the aegis of the IAPL was being taken as evidence to implicate him in the Bhima-Koregaon riots and Elgar Parishad.Mr. Pasbola said Mr. Ferreira’s name only came up in the documents recovered from the computers of Mr. Gadling and another accused, Rona Wilson, and that there was no mention of him in either the riots or the Elgar Parishad. The hearing will continue on September 23. After hearing arguments made in the bail applications of Vernon Gonsalves and Ms. Bharadwaj, the court has now commenced hearing Mr. Ferreira’s bail plea.