Bhima-Koregaon violence case: Rona Wilson cannot rely upon report by Arsenal Consultancy, says NIA

May 01, 2021 12:26 am | Updated 12:30 am IST - Mumbai

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday opposed the plea filed by Rona Wilson, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, and said that the report by Arsenal Consultancy, a digital forensic analyst that debunked all the electronic evidence, could not be relied upon by Mr. Wilson.

On February 10, Mr. Wilson moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the chargesheets against him in the case. His petition mentioned the report by Arsenal Consultancy which was roped in by the American Bar Association (ABA) to examine the cloned copy of the hard disc of Mr. Wilson’s computer. The report said that a hacker controlled his computer for a period of 22 months through malware to plant documents which led to an investigation that supposedly unravelled a conspiracy to eliminate the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

On April 29, Vikram Khalate, the superintendent of police, NIA, questioned the maintainability of the plea and said none of the contentions raised in the plea regarding the alleged attack upon the computer was admitted by the NIA.

The affidavit said, “I stoutly deny the report of Arsenal Consultancy and also the report of the ABA. The person alleged to have framed Mr. Wilson is not mentioned in the entire petition. It is not Mr. Wilson but ABA who had forwarded the documents for the perusal of Arsenal.”

“Arsenal Consultancy had analysed the cloned copy of the disk of Mr. Wilson, which was obtained by Mr. Wilson on July 30, 2020. On the basis of the report, Mr. Wilson contended that there was an existence of malware which had made material changes in the contents of the system without Mr. Wilson getting hint of it. It is further contended by Mr. Wilson that the alleged attacker planted the malware in the system in a hidden folder for a period of 22 months before an FIR was filed in the matter against Mr. Wilson and as such his system was compromised,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit further said, “The report shows that the attacker created a folder on November 3, 2016, and last modified it on April 16, 2018. It was further contended that the pen drive and other external devices of Mr. Wilson, which were connected with the laptop were also compromised and the malware synchronised the same. However, this report does not form part of the chargesheets which are filed by the NIA and the Pune Police. It is a settled position of law that documents which are not part of the chargesheet cannot be relied upon by Mr. Wilson and as such there is no question of looking into the report of Arsenal Consultancy and the entire petition deserves to be rejected.”

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