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Delhi Court Seeks Fresh Verification Report On Asif Iqbal Tanha's Application To Reside In Delhi

Nupur Thapliyal
24 Jun 2021 1:00 PM GMT
Delhi Court Seeks Fresh Verification Report On Asif Iqbal Tanhas Application To Reside In Delhi
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A Delhi Court on Wednesday sought fresh verification report on an application filed on behalf of student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha stating that he is ordinarily going to reside at a new address in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, pursuant to his release.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had sought the report from the Investigating Officer for the aforesaid address on July 15, the next date of...

A Delhi Court on Wednesday sought fresh verification report on an application filed on behalf of student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha stating that he is ordinarily going to reside at a new address in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, pursuant to his release.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had sought the report from the Investigating Officer for the aforesaid address on July 15, the next date of hearing in connection with Delhi Riots larger conspiracy case.

The development came after a Delhi Court last week issued orders for his immediate release after observing that Delhi Police's argument saying that more time was needed to verify the addresses of the accused and sureties, cannot be a plausible reason for keeping them imprisoned. 

It was thus the case of Tanha, that he does not have a passport and that even the phone number has been provided by him to the Officer Special Cell.

On the other hand, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had objected to the application saying that the said address was incorrect as he has never resided there. However, the SPP submitted that Tanha's permanent address of Jharkhand has been verified along with the status of both the sureties.

Responding to the objection, it was submitted by Tanha's lawyers that he used to reside at the address prior to his arrest and due to his arrest, the said tenancy had expired. This was also inquired by Asif Iqbal Tanha who was available on the Video conferencing link during the course of hearing.

Accepting the bail bonds, the Court after hearing the aforementioned submissions, directed the IO to file a fresh verification report with regards to the address and submit the same on July 15.

The High Court had granted bail to Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha this month after observing that offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are not made out prima facie against them in the Delhi riots conspiracy case.

The Delhi Police had filed chargesheet against them alleging that the protests organized by them against the Citizenship Amendment Act from December 2019 were part of a "larger conspiracy" behind the North East Delhi communal riots which took place in the last week of February 2020.

In the three separate orders delivered allowing the bail applications of Tanha, Narwal and Kalita, the High Court hasld undertaken a factual examination of the allegations to ascertain if prima facie case is made out against them for the purposes of Section 43D(5) of UAPA. 

A High Court bench comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani, after a preliminary analysis of the chargesheet, observed that the allegations do not prima facie constitute the alleged UAPA offences relating to terrorist activities(Sections 15,17 and 18).

Therefore, the division bench said that the rigour of Section 43D(5) of the UAPA against the grant of bail was not attracted against the accused, and hence they were entitled to grant of bail under the ordinary principles under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

"Since we are of the view that no offence under sections 15, 17 or 18 UAPA is made-out against the appellant on a prima facie appreciation of the subject charge-sheet and the material collected and cited by the prosecution, the additional limitations and restrictions for grant of bail under section 43D(5) UAPA do not apply; and the court may therefore fall back upon the usual and ordinary considerations for bail under the Cr.P.C"

The said judgment, along with the orders granting bail to Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita were however challenged by the Delhi Police in the Supreme Court. Issuing notice in the said appeal, the Apex Court said that the impugned judgment shall not be be treated as a precedent until the matter is finally decided.

However, the Court said that it was not interfering with the bail granted to the activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha at this stage.

Title: State Vs. Tahir Hussain & Ors (Asif Iqbal Tanha)

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