The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved order on bail pleas of JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, arrested in connection with the communal riots in north-east Delhi last year.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani heard the arguments on behalf of counsel for Narwal and Kalita and reserved its order on the bail petitions.
Advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for the two students, had argued before the bench that the investigation in the case was “tainted”.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Mahajan, representing Delhi Police, had opposed the pleas and claimed that Narwal and Kalita were well aware of the acts being carried out during the riots and that it would lead to consequences which could be disastrous.
Police had contended that they were part of a larger conspiracy to threaten the unity, integrity and harmony of the country.
Narwal and Kalita had filed their appeals challenging a trial court’s order dismissing their bail pleas in a Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case related to the riots.
Narwal and Kalita, who are also members of Pinjra Tod (break the cage) group, were arrested last year in May in connection with the communal riots in north-east Delhi and are in judicial custody.
They were arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.
They have also been booked under the stringent anti-terror law – UAPA in a separate case related to the communal violence in north-east Delhi in February last year, for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” in the riots.
Communal clashes had broken out in north-east Delhi on February 24, 2020 after violence between the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.
In all, four cases have been registered against Kalita, including in relation to the northeast Delhi riots and violence in old Delhi’s Daryaganj area during protests against the CAA in December 2019.
Narwal is accused in three cases.
Both of them have been granted bail in the other cases except for the one under UAPA.
The trial court had on January 28 dismissed their bail pleas saying the allegations against them were prima facie true and provisions of anti-terror law have been rightly invoked in the present case.