New Delhi [India]: Delhi's Karkardooma Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea of Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal in an FIR registered under stringent sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with north-east Delhi violence.
The same case is also having the names of several main accused of a larger conspiracy including former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Tahir Hussain, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leaders Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and others.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat denied the bail to Narwal observing, "On the perusal of the charge sheet and accompanying documents, for the limited purpose of the bail, I am of the opinion that allegations against the accused Natasha Narwal are prima facie true."
Court also observed, "...at this stage of bail, I am of the opinion that in a case of a conspiracy of such a large scale, not having a video is not so vital as generally conspiracy, by its very nature, is hatched in secrecy and not having videos of such a conspiracy is obvious rather than doubtful. There are some videos of actual rioting that occurred in February 2020 in other cases of riots..."
"Moreover, in a case of conspiracy, even the presence of an accused at a site is not a sine qua non for establishing his or her role. In the present case, the presence of the accused is established over a period of time..." the court said.
Counsel for Natasha Narwal had argued that on reading of the charge sheet, no offence under Chapter IV/VI of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are made out.
"Moreover, the twin conditions envisaged under Section 43D of UAPA is not applicable to the applicant as the material on record lacks the ingredients for an offence under Section 15 and therefore, Section 18 of UAPA. Even offences under IPC and other allied Act are ex-facie not made out..." the lawyer submitted.
Narwal's lawyer also argued that there is a difference between taking cognisance of offences and summoning of an accused.
"The prosecution has to discharge the burden of proof which has not been done in the present case," the lawyer submitted.
It was strongly argued that the strict conditions under Section 43D of UAPA are attracted only if there is a prima facie case shown by the prosecution and the correct way to interpret Section 43D of UAPA is to look into the parliamentary debates leading to the enactment/amendment of the said section.
However, Special Public Prosecutor Advocate Amit Prasad while opposing the bail please submitted that, the present case is one of multi-layered, multi-organisational and deep-rooted conspiracy which led to large-scale riots in Delhi causing numerous loss of lives, injuries to public and police personnel and damages to public and private property.
It was argued that the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act, 1967 are attracted in the present case and prima facie case is made out.
More than 750 cases were registered over the north-east Delhi violence, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured. So far, over 250 chargesheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which 1,153 accused have been charge-sheeted.