Court defers release of three activists accused in Delhi riots


A Dlhi court on Wednesday deferred the order on release of February 2020 riots accused activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were granted bail by Delhi High Court on June 15, citing the “heavy board” of other bail applications listed before it.

After the High Court granted bail to the three accused, they moved the lower court seeking their immediate release, as the 1 p.m. deadline was set by the High Court. They were also ordered to be released on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each and two sureties of a similar amount.

Additional Sessions Judge at Karkardooma Courts, Revinder Bedi said the court will pass the order on Thursday at 11 a.m.

The court on Tuesday had deferred the order on the immediate release of the accused, for want of verification of their addresses and sureties. It had sought a verification report from Delhi Police while posting the case for Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the investigating officer sought more time from the court to conduct verification of addresses of the accused and their sureties. Counsel representing the accused submitted before the court that verification reports were not filed despite the time granted to the investigating officer. The court, after hearing the arguments of the parties, reserved the order.

Granting bail to three accused, a High Court bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani had said: “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.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted by Delhi High Court to the three activists, seeking a stay on the order.