New Delhi: Reading down of anti-terror law is an important issue and may have pan-India ramifications, the Supreme Court observed on Friday as it sought responses from three student activists granted bail by the Delhi High Court in the northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case.
The top court, however, upheld the Delhi High Court verdict granting bail to them and said that “it will not be treated as a precedent and not relied upon by the parties before any court.’’
A vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian made it clear that the bails granted to these student activists - Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha - will not be affected for the time being.
SC refused to stay the Delhi High Court judgment. SC said that the judgment of the Delhi High Court will not be treated as a precedent & not relied upon by the parties before any Court.
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2021
The bench also took note of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's submission that the entire anti-terror law, UAPA, has been turned upside down by the Delhi High Court while granting bail to these activists. The bench said what is troubling was that 100 pages of the verdict have been rendered while granting bail and the judgement discussed the entire law.
The Supreme Court made these observations while hearing the special leave petitions filed by the Delhi Police against the bail granted by the Delhi High Court to the Pinjra Tod activists and students Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, and Asif Iqbal Tanha.
Student-activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha will stay out of jail, the Supreme Court said as it upheld Tuesday's Delhi High Court order granting them bail.
The Supreme Court also agreed to examine the legal aspects of the Delhi High Court verdict and said the case would be taken up next month.
All three - arrested in May last year over alleged links to riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February last year amid tension over protests against the citizenship law - were given bail Tuesday on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each and two sureties of a similar amount.
On Wednesday Delhi Police had moved the Supreme Court arguing that the bail order should be stayed. The police had said that the High Court's findings are "perverse and contrary to record" and appeared to be based "more on the social media narrative.