India : GN Saibaba case – Defence yet to begin final arguments

The defence didn’t begin its final arguments in the G N Saibaba case in a Gadchiroli court Tuesday as scheduled. Instead, it filed an application to recall government forensic expert Bhavesh Nikam for re-examination and also for submission of the state home ministry’s prosecution permission documents in the case.

The application moved by Saibaba’s lawyer Surendra Gadling was granted by Principal Districts and Sessions Judge S S Shinde. The defence was to actually begin its final arguments Tuesday after the prosecution completed its final arguments on December 21. The prosecution had based its arguments mainly on the forensic evidence where the documents and correspondence found in the computer hard disks and pen drives seized from Saibaba’s Delhi residence were claimed to have been authored by Saibaba himself under his real name as well as under the alias of ‘Prakash’. The prosecution had claimed the material evidence clearly established Saibaba’s Naxal identity and the work carried out by him on behalf of CPI (Maoist).

The defence that had earlier examined Nikam, assistant scientific officer at Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Mumbai, suddenly sought to re-examine him as also the laboratory’s licences regarding investigations of computer software.

The defence basically wants to check whether CFSL, Mumbai, had those licenses and, if yes, whether those licences were renewed and updated at the time of examining the prosecution evidence. They also sought the production of the home ministry’s prosecution permission in the case.

The case has now been posted for further hearing on January 9.

C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.