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SC To Hear Delhi Police’s Plea Challenging Bail Granted To Natasha Narwal, Others

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Delhi Riots Case: The Supreme Court is going to hear the appeal filed by Delhi Police challenging Delhi High Court’s order granting bail to the Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal along with others, in connection with the Northeast Delhi violence, on Friday.

Update: Supreme Court, during the hearing of June 18, expressed dissatisfaction over the Delhi High Court bail order and said that the ruling will not serve as a precedent for similar cases in the future. However, the top court didn’t roll back the bail order, the activists will remain on bail for the time being.

On June 15, the Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha were granted bail by the Delhi High court. Following this court order, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet in Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court decision to grant bail to the activists. The three were arrested in May last year in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.

The three activists were released from Tihar Jail on the evening of June 17, 2021.

The Delhi police had argued in the Additional sessions court that they needed more time to verify the permanent addresses of the three accused. Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Bedi said, “I would say that this by itself cannot be a plausible reason for the accused to be kept imprisoned till the time such reports are filed.”

The court further added, “The accused is directed to be released forthwith as per orders of the Delhi High Court.”

What is the Delhi Riots Case about?

The three accused, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha were suspected to be in connection with the premeditated “conspiracy” behind the riots that took place in Delhi. In February 2020, violence broke out in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The three are booked under sections 13, 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

According to a senior police official, Delhi Police has enough evidence to prove the connection between the three accused and the violence that struck Delhi in February last year.

The two Jawaharlal Nehru University students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita are also a part of the Pinjra Tod group founded in 2015 protesting the hostel curfews in the college of Delhi.

Natasha Narwal was given interim bail on May 11 after her father had passed away due to COVID-19 on May 9. Court had directed Narwal to observe ‘remote silence’ during this period in reference to her social media activity. Narwal’s father said hours before he passed away, “Where there’s suffering, my daughter will be there. I’m proud of her.”