Bhima Koregaon case accused Sudha Bharadwaj has filed an application in the Special NIA Court at Mumbai praying for the withdrawal of the allegations made against her in the reply filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Bharadwaj filed the application seeking an order reprimanding the NIA and Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty for their “irresponsible conduct” in making statements against her. She has also sought an order restraining them from making similar statements in the future.
She has further prayed for a direction to the NIA to withdraw the allegations made against her and expunge the defamatory statements made on record.
Bharadwaj claimed that the reply filed by NIA, signed by the Investigation Officer and Special Public Prosecutor, was defamatory and contained baseless allegations.
The reply filed by the NIA 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.”
Bharadwaj stated that as an undertrial prisoner, there was a presumption of innocence in her favour, and that the NIA’s statements were not backed by proof and could cause harm to the witnesses.
She stated that the Court should not be reduced to a forum of gossip and slander under the guise of legal arguments.
Bharadwaj concluded her application by pointing out that the prosecution cannot be allowed “to level such defamatory and scurrilous allegations” against her merely because she is accused of a crime.
Earlier today, the Special NIA Court directed the NIA to provide copies of the unredacted statements of the witnesses to Bharadwaj.