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Riots Case: Delhi Police Says SC Gave Wider Interim Relief Than a Stay Order on HC Bail Verdict

Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India

In a statement, the Delhi Police claimed it had not prayed for re-arrest of the accused — Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha — pending consideration of the special leave petition by the Supreme Court.

The Delhi Police on Friday claimed that the Supreme Court fully accepted its contention and gave a wider interim relief than a stay order by holding that the high court’s order involving discussion of anti-terror law UAPA in a bail matter of three student activists will not be relied upon by any party or court. In a statement, the Delhi Police claimed it had not prayed for re-arrest of the accused — Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha — pending consideration of the special leave petition by the Supreme Court.

Therefore, the only interim relief prayed for by the Delhi Police was in relation to the stay of the observations and legal interpretation of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) provisions in the judgment and its applicability to other cases pending in the country, the Delhi Police said. “There are some media reports stating that despite the request made by the counsel for Delhi Police, the Supreme Court has refused to grant stay in the matter. It is stated that the said statement may not be factually correct," according to the statement issued by Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police PRO.

“In this context please be informed that the Supreme Court has fully accepted the contention of the Delhi Police and has granted a wider interim relief than a stay order by holding that the order of the Delhi High Court will not be relied upon by any party or the Court. This means that barring the re-arrest of the accused (which Delhi Police never prayed for) the remaining judgment will not only remain stayed but can also not be relied upon by any party before any court of law," the statement added. The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over the Delhi High Court discussing the entire anti-terror law UAPA in a bail matter, and made it clear the high court’s verdicts granting bail to three student activists in northeast Delhi riots cases will not be used as a precedent in any court in the country.

Student activists Narwal, Kalita and Tanha walked out of Tihar Jail here on Thursday evening after they were granted bail by the high court. The three student activists were arrested in May 2020 and are accused of being the “masterminds" of the February 2020 violence, which left 53 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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The high court, while granting them bail on June 15, had observed that “in an anxiety to suppress dissent, the state has blurred the line between right to protest and terrorist activity" and if such a mindset gains traction, it would be a “sad day for democracy".

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first published:June 19, 2021, 07:46 IST