Delhi riots: High court asks police to submit case diary on FIR against Natasha Narwal, others

Justice Vibhu Bakhru, while hearing Narwal’s bail application, said the case diary should be submitted by Saturday in a sealed cover, so that the matter could be heard on Monday, August 31.
Updated on Aug 27, 2020 12:03 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRicha Banka

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the city police to file the case diary pertaining to the FIR against several people, including Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal, who have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for their alleged involvement in the north-east Delhi riots.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru, while hearing Narwal’s bail application, said the case diary should be submitted by Saturday in a sealed cover, so that the matter could be heard on Monday, August 31.

The court also agreed to the request made by solicitor general SV Raju that the petitioners’ counsel not be allowed to attend that hearing as the case diary has sensitive information.

A case diary is a record of the daily investigation into a case. Any police officer conducting any inquiry is required to maintain a record of the investigation done on each day in a particular case. It is an important document to understand the investigation carried out in a case and the court can ask for it during trial proceedings.

Narwal, through her counsel Adit S Pujari, had sought bail in the case. Narwal and another member of Pinjra Tod, Devangana Kalita, were arrested in May by the crime branch of the Delhi Police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

They have also been booked under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” leading to the riots.

On Wednesday, Raju told the court that he would require the examination of case diary to oppose Narwal’s bail plea and that he wanted limited participants as the contents of the case diary were sensitive and cannot be put in the public domain before the charge sheet is filed.

To this, Bakhru proposed that he could adjourn the matter to September -- when in-person hearing is slated to start -- and the matter could be heard in the presence of limited persons.

However, advocate Pujari said he does not have any problem to the sealed cover report or from being excluded from the hearing. He said if the matter is further pushed to September, by which time the charge sheet would also be filed, it would prejudice Narwal’s case.

He also informed Bakhru that the trial court could not pronounce the order on the bail application of co-accused Kalita on Tuesday, because the case diary was brought to the high court.

Following this, Bakhru directed the police to send the case diary to the trial court while also ordering that the same be submitted in a sealed cover by Saturday at his residence, as the matter is currently being heard over video conferencing.The next hearing is on August 31

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