New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with a case related to a larger conspiracy in the northeast Delhi violence that happened in February last year.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani set aside the trial court's orders denying bail to the three accused and allowed their appeals by admitting them to regular bail.
Tanha challenged an order dated 26th October 2020 dismissing his bail plea, who was arrested under the stringent UAPA. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat rejected the bail application after prima facie observing that the case was maintainable against Tanha and allegedly played an active role in the entire conspiracy.
Advocate Siddharth Agarwal appeared on behalf of the accused, Tanha, whereas Aman Lekhi appeared on behalf of the State authorities before the Delhi High Court.
The High Court directed Pinjra Tod activists Narwal and Kalita and Tanha to surrender their passports and not to offer any inducement to prosecution witnesses or tamper with the evidence in the case. The Court also added that bail is subject to personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two local sureties.
Narwal and Kalita, PhD scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective, have also been in custody since May 2020. Recently Narwal was allowed interim bail to attend the last rites of her now deceased father.
The Delhi High Court had earlier reserved orders in Jamia Millia Islamia student, Asif Iqbal Tanha's appeal against the rejection of his bail in connection with a case related to the larger conspiracy in Delhi Riots that broke out last year.
In May last year, the three accused were arrested in connection with the larger conspiracy related to violence that happened in northeast Delhi in February.
The FIR lodged by Delhi Police in the case had claimed that Tanha played an active role in orchestrating the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. A total of 15 people were named in the FIR in which Tanha, Narwal and Kalita were part of them.
Police also alleged he is a close associate of Safoora Zargar, Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam. In addition, he is a "key member of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots in the national Capital". The police have also submitted that Tanha conspired, along with others, to "overthrow the Government" by setting up a chakka jam (road blockade) in Muslim-dominated areas.
Police also alleged that Tanha purchased a mobile SIM card by using fake documents, it was used in planning the chakka jam, riots and also they used that SIM card to create a WhatsApp group. It was also claimed that the SIM was subsequently provided to another Jamia student and co-accused Safoora Zargar to organise further protests.