Delhi Court grants bail to Ishrat Jahan in Delhi riots larger conspiracy case

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A Delhi Court of Judge Amitabh Rawat today granted bail to Unlawful Activities Prevention Act accused Ishrat Jahan in the larger conspiracy case relating to the 2020 North-East Delhi riots. 

The Court has further posted applications of other accused persons for orders on March 16 (Gulfisha Fatima), March 21 (Umar Khalid) and March 22 (Saleem Khan, Sharjeel Imam).

During the course of the hearing of Umar Khalid's case which was also posted for orders today, but which was delayed due to the late filing of the written submissions, the Court remarked, "The chargesheet is not clear."

However, a detailed order on Jahan's case is awaited.

In arguments against the grant of bail to Jahan, relying on a judgement of the Guwahati High Court and the Supreme Court, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had argued that the bail application was not filed under the proper provision of law, saying that, "Ishrat Jahan’s bail application under Section 439 CrPC was not maintainable, as it should have been filed under Section 437 CrPC.

Prasad had further said that according to the provisions of CrPC, an application cannot be amended and hence Ishrat Jahan had no other option but to withdraw and file a fresh application under the correct provision of law.

Adv. Pradeep Teotia appearing for Jahan, however, had argued that the prosecution did not raise the question of maintainability in the last 6 months and raising an objection at this juncture was unjustified both for Ishrat Jahan who is languishing in jail and for Teotia himself who had been preparing for the case for the past 6 months.

Teotia had further argued that the issue was a trivial one and could be rectified on oral submissions as well.

He had said that courts have admitted bail on oral mentioning and whether the application is filed under Section 437 CrpC or Section 439 CrPC, the arguments would remain the same.

Prasad, however, had said that if bail was granted on an application under Section 439 CrPC, the same would be illegal as the case falls under UAPA.

Previously, the Court had also granted interim bail of 10 days to Ishrat Jahan to get married in June 2020.

Besides Ishrat Jahan, several others including Umar Khalid, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Safoora Zargar,  Asif Iqbal Tanha and former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain, have also been booked under the UAPA in the Delhi Riots larger conspiracy case.

Cause Title: Ishrat Jahan vs State