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Allahabad HC Stays Arrest of Two for Participating in Anti-CAA Protest

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The Allahabad High Court has stayed the arrest of two people, who had allegedly taken part in a protest against the CAA, NRC and NPR and were accused of committing an offence of sedition, making imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration.

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has stayed the arrest of two people, who had allegedly taken part in a protest against the CAA, NRC and NPR and were accused of committing an offence of sedition, making imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration.

Passing the order on the writ petition filed by Ahmad Ali and Shubaibur of Prayagraj, a division bench comprising Justice Bachchoo Lal and Justice Subhash Chandra Sharma directed that both the petitioners shall not be arrested in the aforementioned case till the submission of police report provided that they co-operate with the investigation.

The writ petition sought the quashing of an FIR dated March 6, 2020 registered under Sections 124-A (sedition) and 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) at Kareili Police Station of Allahabad district. The allegations levelled in the FIR were that the petitioners had participated in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register.

However, the writ petition claimed that the petitioners were not named in the first information report. The name of the second petitioner, Shubaibur, came into light in the second statement of the informant, Santosh Kumar Dubey, SHO of Kareily police station said. Thereafter, the arrested co-accused Fazal Khan disclosed the name of the petitioners. Hence, there is no cogent evidence on record to connect the petitioners with the alleged offence, the petition said.

"Neither the petitioners have committed the alleged offence nor were they involved in the alleged incident. Only for the purpose of harassment the petitioners have been falsely implicated in the present case. No offence is made out against petitioners," it said.

The court refused to quash the FIR, saying, Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the court did not find any ground to quash the first information report. However, the court while keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and submissions advanced by counsel for the parties disposed of this writ petition with the direction that the petitioners shall not be arrest till the submission of police report provided they cooperate with the investigation.

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