On Wednesday, Lucknow Sessions Court allowed the bail application moved by Lucknow based senior lawyer and president of human rights group Rihai Manch, Mohammad Shoaib.
He was arrested in the intervening night of 19.12.2019-20.12.2019 at 12 am, for alleged involvement in CAA protests at Clarks Awadh Tiraha in Lucknow. The said protests were termed illegal due to imposition of Section 144 CrPC in the city.
On January 6, the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate had rejected his bail application. Noting that there was no clear evidence pointing towards Advocate Shoaib's involvement in the incident or even indicating that he was present at the location of the protest, the Sessions Judge enlarged him on bail upon his furnishing a personal bond worth Rs. 50,000, in addition to two bonds of the same amount to be furnished before the Magistrate.
Allegedly, the December 19 protests caused many causalities and substantial loss to public and private property, including Govt. buses, media vans, motor bikes, etc.
Advocate Shoaib had been booked for involvement in criminal conspiracy, sabotage, inciting violence and attempt to murder, under Sections 147, 148, 149, 152, 307, 323, 504, 506, 332, 353, 188, 435, 436, 120B and 427 of IPC, Sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act.
In his bail application, Advocate Shoaib had submitted that he was not named in the FIR and thus there was no basis to arrest him. Rather, he contended that he was kept under house arrest since 5:30 pm on 18.12.2019, without any formal order of house arrest and nevertheless, he was picked up from his residence at midnight on December 19, stating that he had been summoned by the Circle Officer. However, he was not produced before a Magistrate, as per the mandates of CrPC. He further alleged that the State had wrongly showed the arrest to have taken place on December 20 at about 8.45 am from Clarks Awadh Tiraha, Lucknow.
Considerably, a Habeas Corpus petition on his behalf was also moved before the Allahabad High Court on December 20, 2019, seeking his forthwith release from alleged illegal detention. While the petition has been rendered infructuous ensuing the present bail order, it was during the course of its hearing that the court had clarified that the Petitioner was free to move a bail application even during its pendency.