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Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Bail Granted to Asif Tanha, Devangana Kalita & Natasha Narwal

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—While refusing bail granted to three student activists-Asif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita- in the Northeast Delhi riots case, the Supreme Court on Friday, however, said that the bail given to the Delhi High Court in the UAPA case will not be treated as a precedent by any other court.

However, the apex court also issued notices to three student activists.

The supreme court gave the orders on a petition filed by the Delhi police challenging the order of the Delhi High Court.  

The three students were booked in connection with large scale anti-Muslim riots that took place during protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

The bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said that the high court judgement that covered about 100 pages regarding UAPA while deciding bail application, required an interpretation by the apex court.

Pointing out that the Delhi High court’s interpretation of the anti-terror law will have pan-India ramifications, the apex court bench said that the UAPA required interpretation by the top court.

The apex court said that the Delhi high court’s interpretation of the terror laws has raised several legal questions though the legality of the anti-terror law not challenged before the high court It was an application for bail.

Appearing for the Delhi police, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Delhi high court order has completely nullified the UAPA while granting bail to the three student activists.

Mehta pointed out that Delhi high court’s bail order almost amounts to acquittal of the accused and based on this judgement, other co-accused in the Delhi riots case would also seek bail presenting this as a precedent.

While granting bail to the three students, the Delhi high court had observed that while suppressing dissent, the State had blurred the line between the right to protest and terrorist activity and “if such a mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”

The three students were released on June 17.

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