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Delhi Riots: Supreme Court Rejects Delhi Police's Plea To Cancel Bail Of Accused Charged Under UAPA For Selling SIM Cards Without Verification

Sanya Talwar
23 Nov 2020 11:19 AM GMT
Delhi Riots: Supreme Court Rejects Delhi Polices Plea To Cancel Bail Of Accused Charged Under UAPA For Selling SIM Cards Without Verification
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The Supreme Court has rejected the plea seeking cancellation of bail to Delhi Riots accused Faizan Khan, booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai & MR Shah rejected the plea for cancellation to Khan, challenging an October 23 order of Delhi High Court which had granted him bail.Khan faces charges of supplying mobile phone...

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The Supreme Court has rejected the plea seeking cancellation of bail to Delhi Riots accused Faizan Khan, booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai & MR Shah rejected the plea for cancellation to Khan, challenging an October 23 order of Delhi High Court which had granted him bail.

Khan faces charges of supplying mobile phone sim card's to delinquent students, without mandatory verification of identity so as to allegedly enable their participation in conspiracy without being detected.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait had granted bail to Khan and had noted that the onerous conditions/embargo under Section 43D(5) of the UAPA would not be applicable in the present case as per the material on record and that the investigating agency's status report did not disclose the commission of offences under UAPA, except for bald statements of the witnesses.

Bail in the matter was sought in pursuance to an FIR registered for offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 149, 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

In order to oppose the application, the State had filed a status report on 6th March, 2020.

In the aforementioned status report, it was claimed that the Crime Branch had received information which stated that the communal riots of February 2020 in Delhi were

"pre-planned and the same were hatched by one Umar Khalid, a student of JNU and his associates and that all linked with different-2 groups".

The status report alleged that the accused Faizan Khan and co-accused Asif Iqbal Tanha were "acting in connivance with each other" and "in furtherance of a pre-conceived criminal conspiracy hatched with the other co-accused knowingly facilitated the commissioning of unlawful and terrorist act".

It is further stated in the report that the mobile phones of the accused persons were sent to CERT-IN for analysis and it was revealed that different WhatsApp groups were formed for coordination and passing of directions regarding mobilization of people at locations of CAA protest sites which lead to riots.

Justice Kait, after hearing the arguments and going through the material available on record, had observed that it was not the case of the investigating agency that the Petitioner was a part of the WhatsApp groups which were made to organize protests against CAA and that there was no allegation against the Petitioner that he had engaged in terror funding or any other ancillary activity.

The Court also noted that there was no proximate nexus between the incidents alleged by the investigating agency and it had also not been alleged that the Petitioner was privy or party to organizing protests against CAA, 2019.

In this context, the Delhi High Court directed for Khan to be released on bail after furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.

Khan has been directed to not directly or indirectly influence any witnesses or tamper with the evidence. The Trial Court has been directed to not get influenced by the observations made by the High Court.

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