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Delhi court reserves bail order of Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal after Delhi Police seek 3 days to verify address

Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita are scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who are associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective. They have also been in custody since May 2020.

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A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved the order on a plea by student activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal seeking their immediate release from Tihar Jail after the Delhi High Court granted bail to them in a Northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case.

The Delhi Police, which was to get back to the court this afternoon, sought three days’ time to verify the addresses of the accused to be released on bail and their sureties. Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Bedi of the Karkardooma court reserved the order after hearing in detail Advocate Adit S. Pujari appearing on behalf of the applicants and APP Amit Prasad. ASJ Bedi disconnected from the virtual hearing after finding several media persons in the hearing. The ASJ said he will not allow the media into the hearing as it was something between the court and the accused.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bedi had deferred passing an order for the immediate release of Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal from judicial custody for want for verification of their addresses and sureties.

The Delhi High Court bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani had granted bail to Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha on Tuesday after observing that offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as per Sections 15, 17 and 18 are not made out prima facie against them.

In the meanwhile, the Delhi Police has moved a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court challenging the grant of bail to Narwal, Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha, a student pursuing his final year of B.A. (Hons.) (Persian) Programme at Jamia Millia Islamia. Tanha was arrested in the Delhi riots case under UAPA in May 2020 and had been in custody since then. He is now out on bail to write his exams.

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Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita are scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who are associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective. They have also been in custody since May 2020.

The Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet against them alleging that the protests organized by them against the Citizenship Amendment Act from December 2019 were part of a larger conspiracy behind the Northeast Delhi riots which took place in the last week of February 2020.

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