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Delhi HC reserves order on bail pleas of JNU students in UAPA case

April 28, 2021

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the bail plea of two JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, arrested in connection with the communal riots in north-east Delhi last year.

A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam  Bhambhani reserved the order after the counsel for Narwal and Devangana Kalita  completed their arguments.

Advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for the two students argued before the bench that the investigation in the case was “tainted”

Amit Mahajan, Special Public Prosecutor representing Delhi Police had opposed the pleas saying that Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita were aware about acts being carried out during the riots and it would lead to consequences which could be disastrous.

The police said they were part of a larger conspiracy to threaten the unity, integrity and harmony of the country.   

The two students had filed their appeals challenging a trial court order that dismissed their bail pleas in a Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case related to the riots. They were arrested in May last year in connection with the communal violence and are now in judicial custody.  

The two former JNU students 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 anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a north-east Delhi riots case in February last year.

Altogether there are four cases registered against Devangana Kalita, including one in connection with the  north-east Delhi riot case and violence in old Delhi’s Daryaganj area during protests against the CAA in December 2019.

Natasha Narwal is accused in three cases. They have been granted bail in the other cases except for the one under UAPA.   

On January 28, the trial court had dismissed the bail pleas of the two former JNU students  saying that allegations against them were prima facie true and provisions of anti-terror law have been rightly invoked in the present case.

Also read: JNU gets over Rs 450 crore aid from Higher Education Funding Agency

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