A Delhi court ordered an immediate release of student activists Asif Iqbal, Devangana Kalita, and Natasha Narwal after High Court on Thursday asked it to take decision with “promptitude" and “expedition". They were granted bail on June 15 in the north east Delhi riots case.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and A J Bhambhani asked the counsel for the accused and the Delhi Police to jointly mention the matter before the trial court at 12 PM. The high court said it will again take up the matter at 3:30 PM.
The court was hearing an urgent plea by the three students seeking forthwith release from jail, saying even after 36 hours of passing of the bail orders the accused have not yet been released from jail.
“The continuing custody despite the clear mandate of law, beyond 24 hours since the direction to verify sureties, is illegal, Direct the authorities to release us forthwith," the three said in their plea.
The High Court on Tuesday had highlighted the distinction between the “right to protest" and terrorist activity as it permitted the activists’ bail. All three were released on personal bonds of ₹ 50,000 each and two sureties of a similar amount.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to delay their release till verification of addresses and sureties were completed. Reportedly, the police have complained of delays in travelling to the ‘permanent’ addresses which are located in Assam, Haryana, and Jharkhand respectively.
In Special Leave Petitions, the Special Cell of Delhi Police said the High Court conducted a “mini trial” in a bail matter and “watered down” provisions of the UAPA “which will have wide ramifications and will affect all the cases registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)” under the Act.