Delhi riots: HC asks trial court to decide with 'promptitude' on release of 3 student activists

·3-min read

New Delhi, Jun 17 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked a trial court to decide with 'promptitude' and 'expedition' the issue of release from jail of Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, who were granted bail on June 15 in the north-east Delhi riots case.

'The trial court is expected to proceed further with promptitude and expedition and decide the issue placed before it,' a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and A J Bhambhani said, adding “our order has to be implemented there cannot be two views on that”.

The court had asked the counsel for the accused and Delhi Police to jointly mention the matter before the trial court at noon.

The high court said its direction was to the effect of forthwith release of the accused and the “trial court cannot be lax about it once the order is passed by this court.” The high court said it will again take up the matter at 3:30 PM.

The trial court has meanwhile ordered immediate release of the accused a short while ago.

The high court was hearing urgent pleas by the three students seeking forthwith release from jail, saying even after 36 hours of passing of the bail orders the accused have not yet been released from jail.

The bench, which was informed that the trial court was scheduled to pass an order at 11 AM, said it was not going to monitor the proceedings before the trial court and it can only that it has to deal with the matter with promptitude.

During the hearing, senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal and lawyer Adit S Pujari, representing the three accused, said the police was delaying the verification process and it was a delaying tactics.

The counsel said the trial court Wednesday did not pass the order on their release saying it was already 6 PM and listed the matter for Thursday.

“The high court’s orders are not being implemented in a manner by not passing an order,” Aggarwal contended.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, representing the Delhi Police, submitted that they were not obstructing the release of the accused but they do not have the magical powers to verify the addresses of the accused from Jharkhand and Assam and other places in a short span of time.

The high court had on June 15 granted bail to Pinjra Tod activists Narwal and Kalita and Tanha, who were arrested in May last year under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with a case related to larger conspiracy in the north east Delhi riots in February last year.

The three students were not being released from the jail on time citing lack of verification details of their addresses and sureties.

As per procedure, on being granted bail, the accused are required to furnish personal bond and surety before the trial court which issues their release warrants after verification of documents.

Communal clashes had broken out in north east Delhi on February 24 last year after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. PTI SKV SA

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