The Delhi High Court reserved its order last week in the bail plea by Pinjra tod activist Devangana Kalita in connection with a Delhi riots case against her. (Devangana Kalita vs State)
Devangana Kalita was accused in as many as four FIRs about the anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots. The present bail plea is on FIR No. 50/2020 registered at PS Jafrabad for Delhi riots. She was in judicial custody in Tihar Jail after which she faced arrest in May 2020. In June 2020, Kalita’s bail plea in the present case got rejected by the Trial Court. At the very outset, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, for Delhi Police, informed the Court that a charge sheet was filed against Kalita by the Delhi Police.
Contentions of the Petitioner
“I am entitled to bail on even better reasons then… they do not need me for investigation,“, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal said for Kalita.
Senior Advocate Sibal argued that the Delhi Police had no evidence to show Kalita’s participation in rioting or violence. Also, she was only protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“Not denying that I did protest…(but) show any video in which I am part of a violent crowd,” he said.
He pointed that Kalita neither featured in any of the CCTV footage collected by Delhi Police nor was her name taken by the co-accused, Shahrukh.
Contentions of the Respondent
In response, Delhi Police maintained that the demonstrations and the violence were part of the conspiracy, to lower the country’s image when the President of the United States was on a visit. Further, Delhi Police had videos of the protest site under Jafrabad metro station from February 22-25. The Officer concerned also claimed that on the day of the riots, the local SHO had specifically informed Kalita about the execution of Sec 144 CrPc in the area. The officer even asked her to disperse the crowd.
The Delhi Police responded in negative when asked if there was any video of Kalita making instigating speeches. Delhi Police, however, stated that there were witness accounts to show Kalita’s role in the violence.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait heard the matter. After hearing the parties at length, the Court reserved the bail plea for the order.
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