New Delhi, Jun 18 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today refused to stay the bail granted to Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and Natasha Narwal by the Delhi High Court, who are accused for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in a larger conspiracy in Delhi Riots, 2020.
However, the apex court issued notice on a plea preferred by Delhi Police and said that the judgement shall not be rely as a precedent by any of the parties before any court. “It is clarified that release of the respondents at this stage not interfered with,” it added.
A Vacation Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V Ramasubramanian was hearing the appeal filed by Delhi Police, challenging the Delhi High Court order, which had granted bail to the trio, accused under UAPA for hatching a larger conspiracy in the Delhi Riots, saying that prima facie, the alleged offences were not made out against them.
During the course of hearing today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta prayed for staying the Delhi HC order.
The Bench replied, “Mr Mehta, we are issuing the notice.”
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, said “This matter must be heard in the due course, but please don’t pass any direction at this stage.
“There is an issue of maintainability. How is Deputy Commissioner of Police authorised to file a SLP,” he averred.
The top court issued notice and said, “Let the Counter Affidavit be filed within four weeks. List the matter in the week commencing July 19.”
The Bench further said that the verdict of the Delhi High Court shall not rely as a precedent by any of the parties before any court. “It is clarified that release of the respondents at this stage not interfered with,” it added.
The Solicitor General pressed for passing directions that Court must say their liberty is subject to the final order. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal refuted and submitted that this can’t be done.
The Delhi High Court had granted them bail on June 15, 2021.
The HC noted, “We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”
It further noted that the “charge sheet and the material included in it” showed that “prima facie the allegations made against the appellant are not even borne out from the material on which they are based.”
All three are accused of being the masterminds behind the conspiracy that led to the North-East Delhi violence in February, 2020. The allegation was that this conspiracy would disturb the law and order of the National Capital.
Following the release orders passed by Delhi Court yesterday, all three were released from Tihar Prisons. ILNS/