Narwal, Kalita and Tanha were arrested in May 2020 and were granted bail on June 15 by the Delhi HC.
The Supreme Court of India today upheld the bail granted to student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha by the Delhi High Court in the northeast Delhi violence case. However, the apex court said that the High Court’s verdict can not be used as a precedent for future cases. The top court noted that reading down of anti-terror law may have pan-India ramifications. The SC also sought responses from three student activists facing charges in the north-east Delhi riots case.
A vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian took note of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s submission that the entire UAPA Act is turned on its head along with the Constitution by the Delhi High Court’s verdict. “In a bail application, a 100-page judgment discussing all laws is very surprising,” reported Bar and Bench quoting the apex court.
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The Delhi Police submitted in the top court that the HC wanted to somehow establish that the present case was a case of protest by students and suppression of dissent by the government. The police also contended that the High Court did not consider the evidence and statements produced before it and arrived at the judgment without taking into account the sinister plot of mass-scale riots which was being hatched by the accused.
Narwal, Kalita and Tanha were arrested in May 2020 and were granted bail on June 15 by the Delhi HC. The Delhi HC had noted that in anxiety to suppress dissent, the State has blurred the line between the right to protest and terrorist activity. The high court, in three separate judgments, set aside the trial court’s orders denying bail to student activists and allowed their appeals by admitting them to regular bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each along with two sureties of the like amount.