The special NIA court in Mumbai on Tuesday, February 8, allowed the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) plea to submit mobile phones of seven accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case to the Supreme Court-appointed technical committee looking into the Pegasus issue. A lawyer, representing one of the accused, said the SC-appointed panel had asked the NIA for these mobile devices.
The NIA sought the special court's permission to submit the mobile phones of the seven accused as these devices are in the custody of the court. Special NIA court judge DE Kothalikar allowed the NIA's plea. The seven accused are Rona Wilson, Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Hany Babu and Shoma Sen. These seven accused had recently sent their representation to the SC-appointed committee alleging that their phones were infected by the Pegasus spyware.
The three-member technical committee was set up by the apex court last October to look into allegations of the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for targeted surveillance in India.
The Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case is related to the inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence on the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.
The police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links. Later, the case was transferred to the NIA.