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'She Is Not Going To Run Away' : Supreme Court Dismisses Delhi Police Challenge Against Bail Granted To Devangana Kalita

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 Oct 2020 7:47 AM GMT
She Is Not Going To Run Away : Supreme Court Dismisses Delhi Police Challenge Against Bail Granted To Devangana Kalita
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a special leave petition filed by the Delhi police challenging the Delhi High Court order granting bail to student activist Devangana Kalita in a case related to Delhi riots.A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said that the court was not inclined to interfere with the bail order.Additional Solicitor General of India, S...

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a special leave petition filed by the Delhi police challenging the Delhi High Court order granting bail to student activist Devangana Kalita in a case related to Delhi riots.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said that the court was not inclined to interfere with the bail order.

Additional Solicitor General of India, S V Raju, appearing for the Delhi police, submitted that the High Court omitted to consider relevant aspects and placed reliance on irrelevant factors to grant bail. The ASG added that Kalita was an influential person and that she could influence witnesses and tamper evidence.

"It is only a grant of bail. She is not going to run away", Justice Ashok Bhushan responded to ASG's submissions, expressing disinclination to interfere.

When the ASG repeated that Kalita was an influential person, Justice M R Shah asked "can that be a reason to deny bail?".

Justice Bhushan told ASG that in case she attempted to tamper evidence or influence the witnesses, the police have the option of seeking the cancellation of bail.

"We are not inclined to interfere. It is only grant of bail. Dismissed", Justice Bhushan said.

On September 1, a single bench of the Delhi High Court had granted bail to Kalita after observing that the Delhi police failed to produce any material to show that she instigated women of a particular community or gave hate speech leading to violence.

After going through the case diary along with the pendrive submitted by the police in a sealed cover, the High Court had noted that though her presence is seen in peaceful agitation, there was no material produced to show that she instigated violence or gave hate speech.

"...I have gone through the inner case diary produced in a sealed cover along with pen drive and found that though her presence is seen in peaceful agitation, which is fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, however, failed to produce any material that she in her speech instigated women of particular community or gave hatred speech due to which precious life of a young man has been sacrificed and property damaged", the observed Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of HC in the order.

Kalit was arrested in FIR No. 50/2020 registered at the Jafrabad Police Station , in relation to communal violence which took place in North East Delhi in the last week of February 2020. It was alleged that she mobilized a crowd of a particular community at the protest site near Jaffrabad metro station on February 22-23 with an intention to instigate a section of people to indulge in rioting, and that the violence led to loss of lives and destruction of public and private properties.

Kalita, one of the founders of the organization 'Pinjra Tod' which works for gender equality, was arrested on May 23 along with her friend Natasha Narwal in relation to the FIR registered over Jafrabad sit-in protest. After they were granted bail in that case, they were re-arrested in another FIR registered by Crime Branch under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in relation to alleged conspiracy behind Delhi riots.

The HC had earlier passed an order restraining Delhi police from releasing information related to her case to the media. That was ordered by Justice Vibhu Bakhru in a writ petition filed by her challenging a press note circulated by Delhi police containing allegations against her.

Though granted bail, Kalita remained in jail as she is under custody in another FIR (FIR No. 59/2020 of Delhi police crime branch), registered under UAPA for alleged conspiracy behind Delhi riots. A Delhi Court had denied her bail in that case last week.

In June, a Delhi Court had granted bail in another FIR registered over her participation in anti-CAA protests in Daryaganj in Delhi in December 2019, after observing that she was not a habitual offender.

"Pinjra Tod", founded in 2015 by, started as a movement against curfews in girls hostels and gradually emerged as a collective taking up causes related to women's emancipation. Kalita ,an MPhil student at JNU's Centre for Women's Studies and Natasha Narwal, a PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies, are its founding members.




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