GUWAHATI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita in a case registered against her for allegedly instigating the residents of Jaffrabad to participate in riots. She was currently in judicial custody at Tihar Jail after being arrested in May 2020.
Kalita, who is from Assam, was an accused in as many as four FIRs pertaining to the anti-CAA protests and Delhi Riots. The present bail plea has been moved in FIR No. 50/2020 registered at PS Jafrabad for Delhi Riots.
The order was pronounced by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait after it was reserved last month.
The court said that the purpose of incarceration during the trial was not punitive and was to be limited to cases where it is absolutely essential.
She was granted the bail against a personal bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of trial court, if not required in any other case.
Kalita has been accused of her connection with the anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in December and for subsequent communal disharmony in Northeast Delhi in February.
Kalita’s side had argued that there was no evidence to prove her participation in rioting or violence and that she was only protesting against the CAA. She was neither featured in any of the CCTV footage collected by Delhi Police nor was her name taken by the co-accused, Shahrukh, in his statement.
Delhi Police maintained that the demonstrations in which Kalita had participated, and the violence, were part of the “conspiracy to lower the country’s image” when President of the United States Donald Trump was visiting India.
The Court opined that Kalita satisfied the triple test for releasing a person on bail and remarked, “No prejudice would be caused to the Respondent’s investigation by grant of relief to the petitioner, and she would be prevented from suffering further unnecessary harassment, humiliation, and unjustified detention. Moreover, persons similarly placed as the petitioner, as per documents placed on record by the investigating agency, have not been arrested by the investigating agency in the subject FIR, and as such, the continued custody of the petitioner in the subject FIR would serve no purpose.”
In June 2020, Kalita’s bail plea in the present case was rejected by the trial court.