Bhima Koregaon Case: Former prof Shoma Sen granted bail by Supreme Court

Arrested on June 6, 2018, Sen was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 (UAPA) for suspected connections to Maoists. Find out other details here
Prof Shoma Sen
Prof Shoma Sen(Source: EdexLive Desk)

Today, Friday, April 5, Shoma Sen, former professor at Nagpur University Shoma Sen, who was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967 for suspected connections to Maoists in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case, was granted bail by the Supreme Court, reported LiveLaw.

Why was the case dismissed?

Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih ruled that the bail restrictions under Section 43D(5) of the UAPA would not apply in the case of Shoma Sen.

The bench further acknowledged Sen's advanced age and numerous other health issues, which she was experiencing while back in jail. Additionally, it took into account her prolonged incarceration, the delay in the commencement of the trial, and the nature of the accusations.

Sen was arrested on June 6, 2018, and since has remained in custody awaiting trial. 

Who were the other detainees?
Shoma Sen who is now 62 years old is the sixth out of the 16 accused in the case to get bail.

The other accused and detainees including Sudha Bharadwaj obtained default bail in 2021, while Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira were granted bail based on merits in 2022 and 2023.

Varavara Rao received bail on medical grounds, and Gautam Navlakha was shifted to house arrest due to health concerns by the Supreme Court.

Although the Bombay High Court granted bail on merits to Navlakha and Mahesh Raut, these orders were stayed by the high court itself and later, extended by the Supreme Court.

One of the activists and accused in the case, Father Stan Swamy, tragically passed away in custody in July 2021.

Lack of grounds for arrest
Anand Grover, a Senior Advocate who represented the arrested professor, emphasised the insufficiency of evidence linking Sen to the case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, or proving her alleged relation with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI (M))

The Senior Counsel further highlighted the lack of any concrete evidence against Sen's personal electronic devices. He had raised doubts about the reliability and probative value of unsigned documents found among co-accused persons.

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