Delhi riots : Court dismisses pleas of 3 people seeking statutory bail in UAPA case

A Delhi court has dismissed the application of student activist Gulfisha Khatoon, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), seeking statutory bail in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

The court also dismissed the applications of Saleem Khan and Tasleem Ahmed, arrested in the case under UAPA, seeking statutory bail.

Khatoon, Khan and Ahmed had sought statutory bail on the grounds that the charge sheet was not filed within the mandatory time period of 90 days and the court, which was presently hearing the matter, did not have jurisdiction over the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said the period for completion of investigation in the case was extended till September 17 and the charge sheet was filed on September 16; its cognisance was taken the next day.

The court said in its order passed on October 19, that the Delhi High Court had authorised the sessions court for trial of cases relating to the February riots in which scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, were also made out.

Regarding the competence of this court/ undersigned (Sessions Judge Rawat) to deal with the present matter, the same is without merit…, it said in its order.

During the hearing, advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Khatoon, Khan and Ahmed, argued that no charge-sheet has been filed in the case within 90 days and thus they must be released on statutory bail.

Gulfisha is in judicial custody in the case since April, and Ahmed and Khan since June.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, opposed the bail pleas saying there was no merit in the applications as the charge sheet was filed within the extended time.

He said the court has been authorised by the high court to deal with the UAPA case.

The three persons have been chargesheeted in the case for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy in the riots.

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

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