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Gauhati High Court allows interim anticipatory bail to CAA protesters

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Gauhati High Court on Thursday granted Interim Anticipatory bail to accused persons in case of agitation against implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice Ajay Lamba conducted hearing through Virtual Court on application filed by Rituraj Chetia, Puranjit Gogoi and Kailash Chetia seeking anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure accused in FIR under Sections 147/448/427 IPC read with Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Section 150/151 of the Railways Act, 1989.

Section 147 of IPC states that whoever is guilty of rioting, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. Section 448, IPC states that whoever commits house-tres­pass shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both and Section 427, IPC gives punishment of two years or fine for causing Mischief for damage of Rs. 50.

The gist of the accusation was that in the agitation against implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act, some miscreants instigated hundreds of persons, who were armed with weapons, to commit illegal activities and destroy railway property.

It was recorded in finding by Chief Justice Ajay Lamba  that no specific role has been ascribed to any of the applicants. In such circumstance, it would be appropriate to take inputs from the Investigating Officer as regards the exact role played by the applicants and the material collected in the course of investigation that can be translated into evidence that connects the applicants with the alleged incident.

It was directed by the Court that in the event of arrest of the applicants in connection with this case, they be released on bail to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer/Investigating Officer. Also  the applicants were directed to join investigation within thirty days and give complete cooperation to the Investigating Officer.

The applicants were further directed not to interfere with the investigation process and not to influence any witness, or delay the process of investigation. In case any such activity is reported to the Court, the benefit of interim anticipatory bail would be withdrawn.

-India Legal Bureau

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