New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has granted interim custodial bail to Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) student Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested in Delhi Riots larger conspiracy case, for two weeks to stay at a hotel here for studying and appearing in exams scheduled from June 15.
A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup J. Bhambhani granted 14 days interim custody bail to Tanha noting that it is imperative for him to sit in his three remaining backlog or compartment examinations to complete his BA (Hons) (Persian) programme.
The bench ordered he be released on interim custody- bail on the morning of June 13 and shall be brought back to prison by guards on the evening of June 26.
As agreed by the counsels for the state and Tanha, he will be staying at AB HOTEL-LE-GRAND Kalkaji, New Delhi under the custody of two prison guards deputed by the Jail Superintendent.
According to the order, he shall also bear all charges, costs and expenses for the 2 rooms at the said facility, one to be occupied by him and the other to be occupied by the two deputed prison guards for the entire duration of interim custody bail.
The Court has also directed to deposit, in advance, with the concerned Jail Superintendent the sum of Rs.50,000/- (Rs. Fifty Thousand Only) on or before 10th June.
During the period of interim-custody bail, the applicant shall not invite to the said facility any visitors or guests, including family members, friends, classmates or any other person, the bench said.
As the exam would be conducted online, the court asked Tanha to arrange for a laptop and basic mobile phone along with a dongle for internet connection through a pairokar (representative pursuing his case) which will be first checked by the police officer concerned and then delivered to him.
The court also allowed Tanha to make a phone call to his family or counsel for 10 minutes once a day during his stay at the hotel.
Tanha has been directed by the court not to use the devices for any other purpose except studying and also not to erase or tamper with browsing history on the laptop or SMSes and call records of the phone.
It is clarified that even before the commencement of interim custody bail, the applicant is permitted to receive all books and reading/study material, as he may consider necessary, through the Jail Superintendent, after being checked as per usual procedures.
During the period of interim custody bail, the applicant shall be entitled to receive all books and reading/ study material that he may require for his examinations, at the said facility, which would be delivered to him after being checked by the SHO, Police Station Special Cell, and unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, the SHO shall permit all such books etc. to be handed over to the applicant with due expedition, the court.
It also made clear that considering the subjects of Tanha's study, the books and reading material may be in Persian or Arabic and permission to have such books and reading material shall not be withheld for that reason alone.
The court said Tanha shall not in any way misuse or abuse the guarded liberty granted to him by way of interim custody bail and added that the period spent by him in interim custody bail would be counted as period undergone in prison as an undertrial.
In December last year also, the high court had granted similar relief to the accused by directed the jail authorities to take him to a guest house to enable him to study and appear in exams.
Tanha was arrested on May 19 last year in the case for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy in the riots that happened during the last week of February 2020.