NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by Delhi Police against granting of bail to activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha in connection to the 2020 riots in the national capital.
The communal riots that occurred in February 2020 claimed the lives of 53 people and injured more that 700 others.
The apex court in July 2021 had pointed out its reluctance to consider cancellation of bail granted to the three activists, who were booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
On Tuesday, a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul told the Centre’s counsel that there is a limit to seeking adjournment and added that the accused have been enlarged on bail for two years and it finds no reason to keep this matter alive.
When the Centre’s counsel urged the court to take up the matter again on Wednesday, Justice Kaul said that several adjournments have been sought so far and nothing survives in the matter.
Referring to bail judgments passed by the high court, the top court said it is an extremely elaborate order on bail interpreting provisions of UAPA Act and in its view the only issue, which was supposed to be examined was whether in the factual scenario accused were to be granted bail or not.
Justice Kaul made it clear that while issuing notice in the matter, the court had observed that the judgments will not be treated as a precedent.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Delhi Police, submitted that there were a large number of personal views in the high court judgments granting bail to three student activists.
Justice Kaul, in response, said the court had already observed in its previous order the judgments will not be treated as a precedent and no further orders are required in the matter.
The bench noted that in the bail order, the court has to only consider whether the person has to be enlarged on bail or not and emphasized that 2021 judgments by the Delhi High Court in this case cannot be used as a precedent on legal position.
The top court was hearing the Delhi Police petitions against the high court’s June 15, 2021 judgments granting bail to the three activists in a larger conspiracy in the riots case.
Earlier, the top court had said that bail petitions were being argued at length debating the provisions of the anti-terror law UAPA.
It had made it clear that the high court judgments shall not be treated as a precedent and may not be relied upon by any of the parties in any of the proceedings. — IANS