Bail granted to Delhi riot accused, court says UAPA not valid against suspect
Prior to this, Safoora Zargar had been granted bail on humanitarian grounds because she was pregnant. Co-accused Ishrat Jahan, a former congress Councillor, had secured bail for 10 days for her wedding.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 01:12 IST
The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Faizan Khan, one of the 22 persons arrested by Delhi police special cell for the conspiracy behind the Delhi riots. Police had accused Khan of allegedly supplying a SIM card to Jamia scholar Asif Iqbal Tanha(another accused in the case).
The HC observed that invocation of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is not valid against Khan as it based on nothing but “bald statements”. This is one of first bail granted (on merits) in the main riots investigation case, which police are probing on allegations that the riots were pre-planned.
Prior to this, Safoora Zargar had been granted bail on humanitarian grounds because she was pregnant. Co-accused Ishrat Jahan, a former congress Councillor, had secured bail for 10 days for her wedding.
Justice Suresh Kait said there is no proof of Khan’s involvement on record such as CCTV footage, video or chats of the petitioner with any of the group, except the allegation that he provided SIM on fake ID in December 2019 and took a small amount of Rs 200 for the same.
The court granted bail to Khan on a personal bail bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount while noting that for invoking UAPA against the petitioner, it is the duty of the investigating agency to demonstrate that the accused had “actual knowledge” that the said SIM card would be used for organising the protests.
It observed that Khan had voluntarily appeared before the agency for questioning and did not evade or flee between the periods of registration of the FIR and has fully cooperated with the probe.
He was arrested by Delhi Police on 29 July, and is alleged to have been part of the conspiracy hatched by a group of prominent anti-CAA activists, local politicians, student activists and some locals in February 2020.
Khan had allegedly supplied and activated the SIM card registered fraudulently in the name of one Abdul Jabbar, but had given it to Tanha and was used by Safoora Zargar.