Delhi riots:Ex-Cong Councillor Ishrat Jahan seeks interim bail due to COVID-19 outbreak in prison

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in connection with the February riots in north east Delhi, Thursday sought interim bail due to COVID-19 outbreak in Mandoli prison here.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat reserved the order after the hearing in which she raised other grounds for the relief which was opposed by the police.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Jahan, said she was suffering from some minor psychological problems due to her isolation in wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the jail where some of the inmates have been found to be corona positive.

He also said that she had also suffered injuries in her back due to slipping on the floor in Mandoli prison where she is lodged.

“She (Jahan) is a practicing advocate and doesn't have any criminal antecedents. Earlier she was granted bail for 10 days for her marriage and she did not misuse it. The court can grant interim bail to her in the current circumstances and she will not misuse the relief,” the senior counsel said.

He further argued that the trial will take a long time and the charge sheet alleged that she was only sloganeering and her role was different from the others.

Gupta added he was not saying that Jahan's condition was serious but the court can grant her interim bail and if she violated any condition her bail would be cancelled.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea saying all her medical reports primarily related to minor spinal issues and it were not serious.

The public prosecutor further said that any interim bail granted now, even on humanitarian grounds, will have to be treated as an order short of regular bail as it gets extended from time to time due to the pandemic.

“As far as her (Jahan's) medical treatment is concerned, she is receiving adequate treatment in prison,” Prasad said.

The Jail authorities also stated in their reply that Jahan was suffering from hypertension and was on antihypertensive and her blood pressure was controlled.

It further stated that nine inmates who had tested COVID-19 positive were admitted in GTB Hospital and their medical condition was stable.

“Three inmates, including one child who were tested COVID-19 positive were kept in isolation in jail and all were stable,” the reply said.

It said that Jahan has been tested two times for COVID-19 but she was found negative and was receiving proper treatment from the jail fro her minor health issues.

The jail authorities further informed that till date 104 COVID-19 tests of 104 inmates have been done.

“At present, Ishrat Jahan is stable. For her orthopaedic issues, she received treatment. She had never complained of slip on floor in OPD in her previous visits to dispensary,” the reply said.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. PTI URD RKS RKS