Millennium Post

Sequence of arrests noted as court says can no longer detain them

New delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday while granting bail to Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, specifically noted the pattern of arresting both Kalita and Narwal in multiple cases the moment they were granted bail in the previous one.

Significantly, the court also points out that both Kalita and Narwal were arrested nearly three months after the FIR was registered before concluding that there is "no reason, basis or justification to detain the appellant in judicial custody in the subject FIR any longer".

Kalita, the court notes, was arrested first on May 23 last year and was then rearrested in a second case the day after she was granted bail. Furthermore, when in this case too, Kalita secured regular bail, the police arrested her "then and there in the same courtroom" in a third case. While in judicial custody in the third case, she was held in the "larger conspiracy" case.

She has got bail in all four cases against her now. Similar are the observations for Narwal's sequence of arrests.

Moreover, Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani, clearly ruled that the prosecution had failed to bring evidence that either Kalita or Narwal had indulged in terrorist activities and that other than helping to organise protests against the CAA and NRC, "there is no proof of terrorism activities being committed". It noted that even if the protests had turned disorderly or violent, the offences arising from those are already being tried in the other cases against them.

As for Tanha, the court noted that there was no proof that he was leading the coconspirators in committing acts of violence nor did he for the JCC group and he was not a member of any WhatsApp group which allegedly incited violence. The bench further noted that the only allegation against Tanha was that he handed over a SIM card to one co-conspirator and that there was no recovery of any weapons whatsoever from him.

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