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Supreme Court refuses to stay bail granted to Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha but says HC order can’t be used as precedent

All three are accused of being the masterminds behind the conspiracy that led to the North-East Delhi violence in February 2020. The allegation was that this conspiracy would disturb the law and order of the National Capital.

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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the bail granted to the student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha by the Delhi High Court who are accused of larger conspiracy in Delhi Riots 2020 under the UAPA. 

However, the bench issued notice on the plea preferred by the Delhi Police and said that the impugned judgment shall not be relied on as a precedent by any of the parties before any court. “It is clarified that release of the respondents at this stage not interfered with,” it added. 

A vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian was hearing the appeal filed by Delhi Police challenging the Delhi HC order by which it had granted bail to trio accused under UAPA for hatching larger conspiracy in the Delhi Riots while saying prima facie alleged offences not made out against them.

During the course of hearing today the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta prays for staying the Delhi HC order. 

Bench replied Mr Mehta we are issuing the notice. 

Senior Adv Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners submits that this matter must be heard in the due course but please don’t pass any direction at this stage.

“There is a issue of maintainability. How is Deputy Commissioner of Police authorised to file a SLP,” he averred. 

The top court issued notice and said, “Let the Counter Affidavit be filed within four week. List the matter In the week commencing, July 19.”

The bench further said that the impugned judgement of the Delhi HC shall not be relied on as a precedent by any of the parties before any court. “It is clarified that release of the respondents at this stage not interfered with,” it added. 

The Solicitor General pressed for passing directions that Court Must say their liberty is subject to the final order. 

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal refuted and submitted this can’t be done. 

Read Also: Supreme Court refuses to pass any direction in Foreign Medical Graduate Examination

The Delhi High Court had granted them bail on June 15, 2021. 

The HC had noted, “We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”

It further noted that the “chargesheet and the material included in it” showed that “prima facie the allegations made against the appellant are not even borne out from the material on which they are based.” 

All three are accused of being the masterminds behind the conspiracy that led to the Northeast Delhi violence in February 2020. The allegation was that this conspiracy would disturb the law and order of the National Capital.

Following the release orders passed by Delhi Court yesterday all three released from Tihar prisons. 

See order below:

13600_2021_44_37_28073_Order_18-Jun-2021

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