The Delhi High Court Friday sought response of the AAP government and police on appeals by JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita against the dismissal of their bail pleas by a trial court in a UAPA case related to the north-east Delhi riots last year.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and A J Bhambhani issued notice to the Delhi government and police and sought their stand on the two appeals by March 10, the next date of hearing.
Advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for the two students, argued before the bench that the investigation in the case was “tainted”.
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 – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (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.
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