New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today granted bail to Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait gave the relief to JNU student Kalita on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the same amount.
The court directed that she shall not directly or indirectly influence witness or tamper with the evidence.
Kalita and another member of the group Natasha Narwal were arrested in the case in May by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. In all, four cases have been registered against her, including in relation to the northeast Delhi riots and violence in old Delhi’s Daryaganj area during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December last year.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, with advocates Adit S Pujari, Tusharika Mattoo, Kunal Negi, Kriti Awasthi, Chaitanya Sundriyal appeared on behalf of the petitioner and argued that there was no evidence to show her participation in rioting or violence and that she was only protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The counsel further submitted that she was not featured in any of the CCTV footage collected by Delhi Police, nor was her name taken by the co-accused, Shahrukh, in his statement.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for Delhi Police stated that the demonstrations in which Kalita participated and the violence, were part of the conspiracy to lower the country’s image on the visit of President of the United States Donald Trump in India.
The court observed that the purpose of incarceration during trial was not punitive and was to be limited to cases where it is absolutely essential. Therefore the petitioner was entitled to bail in the present case.
The court said:
“I find no substance in arguments of learned ASG and cases relied upon are no help in the facts and circumstances of the present case.”
Kalita has secured bail in two cases – Daryaganj and one northeast Delhi matter.
Read the order here;Devanganan-Kalita-Vs-State
-India Legal Bureau