Politics

Delhi high court grants bail to delhi riots accused safoora zargar on humanitarian grounds

Zargar, who is 23 weeks pregnant, was arrested on April 10 in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The Delhi High court on 23 June granted bail to Safoora Zargar, a Jamia Milia Islamia University student who was under custody for allegedly hatching criminal conspiracy behind the riots which happened in North Delhi few months back.

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakhder via video conferencing.

Zargar, who is 23 weeks pregnant, was arrested on April 10 in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Charges under anti-terror law, UAPA, have been invoked against the Jamia Millia Islamia M.Phil student who is more than four months pregnant.

The Jamia Millia Islamia student and Anti-CAA activist has to furnish a personal bond of Rs 10,000 followed by certain conditions imposed by the court:

– Zargar will not indulge in any activity for which she is being investigated which may infract the law.

– She will refrain from influencing witness.

– She will not hamper the investigation.

– She will not leave the National Capital region without seeking permission of the court concerned.

Additionally, Zargar has also been directed to be in touch with the investigating officer through mobile phone once every 15 days.

This happened after the Solicitor General appearing for Delhi Police, Tushar Mehra, told the court that the state agrees on ‘humanitarian grounds’ to release Safoora on regular bail. They also argued that this would has no bearing on the merits of the bail plea, and it shall not set a precedent for other cases.

Mehta had argued that ’39 deliveries’ have taken place in Tihar jail over the last ten years and that adequate medical care was being given to Safoora.

This is the fourth time that lawyers of the Jamia Millia Islamia student and Anti-CAA activist Zargar’s were moving court for bail ever since she was arrested on 10 April. The first time was on 18 April when UAPA was not yet invoked, which was rejected on 21 April after the invocation of the anti-terror law. Then again on 2 May a bail application was moved, but withdrawn after arguments in court. The third bail application was rejected by court on 4 June.

The fourth attempt was on 18 June at the Delhi High Court and continues to be heard.

Earlier, 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.

Zargar’s bail plea was earlier dismissed by a trial court on June 4, compelling her to move the High Court.

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