Delhi violence: HC seeks police reply on plea challenging prosecution sanction under anti-terror law

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New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday sought response of the police on a plea by an accused, booked under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA, challenging the sanction granted to prosecute him in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice to the state and asked it to file a status report within four weeks on the plea.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on January 12 next year.

Jamia Alumni Association President Shifa-Ur-Rehman, who is an accused in the case, also sought to set aside the September 17 order passed by a trial court, taking cognisance on the charge sheet filed by the police in the case, on the ground that it was bad in law for non-application of mind and passed without jurisdiction.

Rehman, represented through advocates Abhishek Singh, Amit Bhalla and Shreshth Arya, also claimed that the government’s sanction orders of August 10 and 11 were liable to be set aside, being arbitrary exercise of power and bad for non-application of mind.

“...the recommendations, if any, made by the concerned authority (s) appointed under section 45 (2) of UAPA are arbitrary exercise of power because before making such recommendations no independent review of the evidence gathered has been carried out,” the petition said.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had named in its charge sheet 15 accused under the provisions of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the violence that erupted in the northeast parts of the national capital in February.

The accused include Pinjra Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Tanha, Gulfisha Khatoon, former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Zargar, Meeran Haider, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik, Mohd Salim Khan and Athar Khan.

They have been named in the charge sheet for allegedly being part of a larger conspiracy in the riots.

Imam and Khalid have also been arrested under the anti-terror law in the case but no charge sheet has been filed yet.

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