Court orders release of 3 student activists of Delhi riots case

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday ordered release of three activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha, accused under UAPA in Delhi riots, who were granted bail by Delhi High Court on June 15.

Additional sessions judge at Karkardooma Courts Revinder Bedi said the order has been passed for releasing the three accused and an intimation has been sent to the Tihar jail authorities in the matter. The court declined to entertain the plea of Delhi Police seeking more time to verify the documents. On Wednesday, the court had deferred the order on release of the accused after Delhi Police sought time for verification of the address of the accused.

The three student activists were arrested in a case of larger conspiracy related to the northeast Delhi riots last year, which claimed lives of 53 people and left hundreds injured.

On Thursday, the accused moved the High Court complaining against Delhi Police for cause delaying in their release from the jail.

A bench of Justices Sidharth Mridul and Anup J. Bhambhani said, “We are not going to monitor the trial court proceedings.”

The High Court added it can only say that it has to deal with the matter with promptitude. “Our order has to be implemented, there cannot be two views on that,” said the bench. After a brief hearing, the High Court posted the matter for hearing later in the day.

Granting bail to three accused, a High Court bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani had said: “We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Wednesday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted by the Delhi High Court to the three activists, seeking a stay on the order.

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