The Delhi Police has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's order granting bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal in connection with north-east Delhi violence case. The Delhi police, in its appeal filed before the Supreme Court, has challenged yesterday's Delhi High Court's division bench — Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambani's order.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday while granting bail to Pinjra tod activists — Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal -- said, "We are constrained to say, that it appears, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent and in the morbid fear that matters may get out of hand, the State has blurred the line between the constitutionally guaranteed 'right to protest' and 'terrorist activity'. If such blurring gains traction, democracy would be in peril."
The Delhi High court in its order said that as expatiated by the Supreme Court in the precedents cited above, protests against Governmental and Parliamentary actions are legitimate; and though such protests are expected to be peaceful and non-violent, it is not uncommon for protesters to push the limits permissible in law. "The making of inflammatory speeches, organising chakkajams, and such like actions are not uncommon when there is widespread opposition to Governmental or Parliamentary actions. Even if we assume for the sake of argument, without expressing any view thereon, that in the present case inflammatory speeches, chakkajams, instigation of women protesters and other actions, to which the appellant is alleged to have been a party, crossed the line of peaceful protests permissible under our Constitutional guarantee, that however would yet not amount to commission of a 'terrorist act' or a 'conspiracy' or an 'act preparatory' to the commission of a terrorist act as understood under the UAPA," the Delhi High court had noted.
"Therefore, having bestowed our anxious consideration to the allegations 6/16/2021 Police files appeal in SC challenging Delhi HC order granting bail to Pinjra Tod activists contained in charge-sheet dated September 16, 2020, and the material adduced therewith, we do not think that the accusations made against the appellant under sections 15, 17, and/or 18 of the UAPA are prima facie true," the Delhi High court had said.