No Proof of Instigation or Hate Speech: Bail Orders For Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal

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Below are significant excerpts from bail orders in the Delhi HC for Pinjra Tod activists. It is to be noted that while Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita have got bail in other FIRs, they continue to remain in jail because they are booked under UAPA. This goes to show the nature of the draconian UAPA law: where even if the police show no proof at all of any crime, the accused can be denied bail and kept in jail indefinitely, even as the police deliberately delay trial. The Allahabad HC verdict releasing Kafeel Khan, held that police must show the court that they have material evidence to persuade “a reasonable man” of the basis for invoking NSA and detaining the accused; to do so based on “whims and caprice” of the government would be “against the fundamentals of our constitutional values and provisions.” Well, UAPA is indeed “against the fundamentals of our constitutional values and provisions” because it allows the government to detain accused persons on its “whims and caprice”, without showing any reasonable evidence whatsoever.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait in bail order for Devangana Kalita:

...I have gone through the inner case diary produced in a sealed cover along with pen drive and found that though her presence is seen in peaceful agitation, which is fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, however, failed to produce any material that she in her speech instigated women of particular community or gave hatred speech due to which precious life of a young man has been sacrificed and property damaged. Admittedly, agitation was going on since long, print and electronic media was present throughout in addition to cameras of police department, but there is no such evidence which establishes that the alleged offence has taken place on the act done by the petitioner, except statements recorded under section 164 Cr.P.C. much belatedly, though, those witnesses were allegedly remain present at the spot throughout.

Bail order for Natasha Narwal by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat

...certain videos were shown in the court by the IO (investigating Officer) and Special Prosecutor but the said videos show her being a part of unlawful assembly but do not show the accused indulging or inciting the violence.

No.39
Vol.23