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Pregnant Jamia Scholar Safoora Zargar Gets Bail in Delhi Riots Case on 'Humanitarian' Grounds

File photo of Jamia student Safoora Zargar.

File photo of Jamia student Safoora Zargar.

This was the fourth time that lawyers of the Jamia Millia Islamia student and anti-CAA activist Zargar were moving court for bail since her arrest on April 10.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 23, 2020, 5:14 PM IST
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Jamia Coordination Committee member Safoora Zargar, who was arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA in April, has been granted bail by the Delhi High Court in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.

The bail was granted after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the state agrees, on humanitarian grounds, to release Safoora on regular bail subject to certain conditions. Zargar, an M Phil student of Jamia Millia Islamia, is 23 weeks pregnant.

Mehta said that without going into the merits of the plea, and without considering this as a precedent, the state has no problem with her being released on bail provided she doesn't indulge in activities she's being investigated for.

The court, while granting regular bail to her on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000, said that Zargar will have to seek permission of the concerned court before leaving Delhi for any purpose, and will have to get in touch with the investigating officer every 15 days.

This was the fourth time that lawyers of the Jamia Millia Islamia student and Anti-CAA activist Zargar were moving court for bail ever since she was arrested on April 10. The first time was on April 18 when the stringent UAPA was not yet invoked. The plea was rejected on April 21 after the invocation of the anti-terror law.

Then again on May 2, a bail application was moved, but withdrawn after arguments in court. The third bail application was rejected by court on June 4.

Opposing her bail, Mehta, appearing for the Delhi Police, had on Monday said that 39 deliveries have taken place in Tihar Jail in the last 10 years and pregnancy is no ground to give bail to Zargar. Submitting its status report in the Delhi High Court, Delhi Police maintained that her pregnancy does not dilute the gravity of her alleged crime and that she is being given adequate medical care in the jail.

"There is no exception carved out for pregnant inmate, who is accused of such heinous crime, to be released on bail merely because of pregnancy. To the contrary, the law provides for adequate safeguards and medical attention during their custody in jail," stated the report submitted in the court by Delhi Police.

It added there have been enough precedents to show not only arrest and detention of pregnant women but also their deliveries in jails, for which guidelines have been laid out in law according to the Supreme Court's directions.

"It is respectfully submitted that till date 39 deliveries have taken place in Delhi prison in last 10 years," said the report, adding Zargar is not entitled to any "preferential treatment" when the law itself permits such kind of sanctions against a certain class of offenders.

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