In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday (18 June) pointed out serious issues with the Delhi High Court judgment granting bail to 'activists' Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha in the Northeast Delhi riots case, reports Times of India.
The SC bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramaniam ordered that the High Court's judgment could not be cited as a precedent by other accused to seek bail.
The bench also expressed surprise over the '100-page judgment' by Delhi in a bail petition.
The SC bench said, "What is troubling us is that in a bail petition, the High Court authors a 100-page judgment, and that too discussing all laws. This is something very, very surprising."
The top court added, "What we can say is since the bail has been granted, those who got the relief will not be affected. But otherwise, we will stay the effect of this order."
It also emphasised that while hearing the bail plea, the High Court went on to dwell on the constitutionality of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) which is a key anti-terror law.
The Supreme Court bench said, "There are many questions which arise. Because the legality or constitutionality of UAPA was not challenged by the High Court."
Interestingly, even the counsel for the accused, senior advocate Kapil Sibal agreed with the top court's observation that the High Court's remarks about UAPA could have pan-India repercussions.