21 Aug 2020 11:20 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has reserved orders in a bail plea moved by 'Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita in a case registered against her for allegedly instigating the residents of Jaffrabad to participate in riots. While reserving the order, the Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait gave both the parties time till Monday to file their written submissions. Appearing...
The Delhi High Court has reserved orders in a bail plea moved by 'Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita in a case registered against her for allegedly instigating the residents of Jaffrabad to participate in riots.
While reserving the order, the Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait gave both the parties time till Monday to file their written submissions.
Appearing for Kalita, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal argued that Kalita was already enlarged on bail in one of the FIRs registered against her. In that order, Mr Sibal argued, the trial court has stated that Kalita merely participated in the Anti-CAA protests and did not indulge in any violence.
Mr Sibal further argued that the chargesheet has already been filed against Kalita and she is no longer required for investigation. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that she can influence the witnesses or that she poses a flight risk.
It was also argued by Mr Sibal that the prosecution has presented no evidence to link Kalita with the offence of instigating rioting. He said:
'Delhi Police has itself said that she doesn't appear in any CCTV footage or any other video; they do not even have a copy of her speech.'
Mr Sibal further went on to argue that Kalita was not even named in the disclosure statement of Shahrukh on the basis of which she was arrested.
'They (police) did not arrest her immediately after recording the disclosure statement. They waited for 2 days to arrest her on the day when she was granted bail by the trial court', Mr Sibal argued.
Lasty, Mr Sibal contended that Kalita is a tremendous academic and it is her right to participate in a protest for issues she feels passionately about.
Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju submitted that Kalita cannot claim parity with the bail order passed in other FIR against her as in that FIR she was not accused of serious offences such as murder and attempt to murder.
In order to defend the unavailability of any video footage that shows Kalita as a part of a violent mob, ASG said:
'There were a lot of people who participated in that protest, it is not possible to expect the CCTV footage to capture the faces of all of them.'
ASG Raju further argued that the law on unlawful assembly is clear and mere participation in the assembly is sufficient to constitute the offence.
'She was instigating the uneducated ladies of the area to participate in violence by giving hate speeches, her Call Data Records place at her the location on the date of the occurrence. It was all part of the larger conspiracy to malign the image of India by timing the protest during the visit of American President Donald Trump.'
Mr Raju further contended that if released on bail, there's a strong possibility that Kalita would indulge in similar activities and would also try to influence the witnesses.
'Academic record is irrelevant for bail matters, what is relevant is the gravity of the offence', ASG Raju argued.