Delhi High Court grants bail to three activists arrested under UAPA

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to student activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha in a case related to February 2020 Delhi violence, reported Scroll.

The trio has been in custody since May last year and will be released since they had already received bail in other cases related to the violence.

The activists were charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly being a part of the “larger conspiracy” in the violence that followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last year.

As per the report, a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani criticised the government’s actions in “suppressing dissent” while passing the bail order.

“…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,” the court said in its order.

“If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”

The court also mentioned, as per the report, that actions like making inflammatory speeches and organising chakka jams, or road blockades, are not uncommon when there is “widespread opposition to governmental or parliamentary actions”.

As per the report, the court has asked Narwal, Kalita and Tanha to furnish a personal bond of 50,000 rupees and two local sureties as bail conditions. They have also been asked to surrender their passports and not indulge in activities that would hamper the case.

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