Court rejects bail plea of Devangna Kalita in UAPA case

Published: January 29,2021 02:25 PM

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January 29, 2021: Karkardooma Court has dismissed the bail plea of Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita in connection with North East Delhi Violence.

January 29, 2021: Karkardooma Court has dismissed the bail plea of Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita in an FIR registered under stringent sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with North East Delhi Violence.

The same case also involves the names of several main accused of larger conspiracy including former AAP Leader Tahir Hussain, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and others.

The same court had yesterday also dismissed the bail plea of Natasha Narwal (another member of Pinjra Tod group) in the same matter.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, while denying the bail to Devangana on Thursday, observed that "on the perusal of the charge-sheet and accompanying documents, for the limited purpose of the bail, I am of the opinion that allegations against the accused Natasha Narwal are prima facie true".

The Court also observed that " this stage of bail, I am of the opinion that in a case of a conspiracy of such a large-scale, not having a video is not so vital as generally conspiracy, by its very nature, is hatched in secrecy and not having videos of such a conspiracy is obvious rather than doubtful. There are some videos of actual rioting that occurred in February 2020 in other cases of riots....."

Moreover, in a case of conspiracy, even the presence of an accused at a site is not a sine qua non for establishing his or her role. In the present case, the presence of the accused is established over a period of time, Court said.

The counsel for Devangana Kalita had argued that on the reading of the charge-sheet, no offence under Chapter IV/VI of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are made out. Moreover, the twin conditions envisaged under Section 43D of UAPA is not applicable to the applicant as the material on record lacks the ingredients for an offence under Section 15 and therefore, Section 18 of UAPA. Even offences under IPC and other allied Act are ex-facie not made out, the lawyer submitted.

Kalita was arrested in the case for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy behind the riots.

Kalita's lawyer also argued that there is a difference between taking cognizance of offences and summoning of an accused.

"The prosecution has to discharge the burden of proof which has not been done in the present case. It was strongly argued that the strict conditions under Section 43D of UAPA are attracted only

if there is a prima facie case shown by the prosecution and the correct way to interpret Section 43D of UAPA is to look into the Parliamentary debates leading to the enactment/amendment of the said Section. It was vehemently argued that the police has carried out only one-sided investigation and acted in a biased manner," Kalita's lawyer submitted

However, Special Public Prosecutor Advocate Amit Prasad while opposing the bail please submitted that "the present case is one of multi-layered, multi-organizational and deep-rooted conspiracy which led to large-scale riots in Delhi causing numerous loss of lives, injuries to public and police personnel and damages to public and private property. It was argued that the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act, 1967 are attracted in the present case and prima facie case is made out."

More than 750 cases were registered over the northeast Delhi violence, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured. So far, over 250 chargesheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which 1,153 accused have been charge-sheeted.