NEW YORK (Diya TV) – A US court rejected the request by Nikhil Gupta’s defense for evidence surrounding the alleged murder plot against Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The New York court has asked the government to respond to the motion within three days, maintaining that evidence will only be provided upon Gupta’s appearance and arraignment in court.

Gupta, held in a Czech Republic prison pending extradition, faces accusations of conspiring with an Indian government official to hire a ‘hitman’ for the murder-for-hire plot. US prosecutors claim Gupta communicated with the official, referred to as ‘CC-1,’ alleging the official directed the plot from India.

The defense’s motion sought “discovery material” to aid in their ability to defend against the charges. However, the US government argues that Gupta is not entitled to such material before his appearance in court, emphasizing consistency with federal rules of criminal procedure.

Gupta’s lawyers raised concerns about his treatment in custody, citing limited access for his family, denial of consular access, and alleged human rights violations in Prague. The motion emphasizes the necessity of the court ordering the government to comply with the defense’s discovery request.

The US government, led by Attorney Damian Williams, asserts readiness to provide discovery upon Gupta’s appearance in the district, maintaining denial before that point. If the motion is denied, Gupta faces twin 10-year jail terms if convicted on murder-for-hire and conspiracy charges.