Delhi court grants bail to Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan in Delhi Riots case

Jahan was arrested in March 2020 in connection with a Delhi Riots case for the alleged commission of offences under the Indian Penal Code and the UAPA.

Ishrat Jahan

A Delhi court on Monday, 14 March, granted bail to former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan, in connection with the Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case, registered under FIR 59 of 2020.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had reserved orders in Jahan’s bail plea in February this year.

She was arrested on 26 February 2020.

The charges registered against Jahan include Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 among other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Appearing for Jahan, Advocate Pradeep Teotia had claimed that she had been falsely implicated in the matter, and that there is “no single iota of evidence regarding her involvement in the conspiracy”.

Eighteen people have been named accused in this case, but prior to Jahan, only five others had received bail. Jahan is also the first accused in this case (registered under FIR 59) to have been granted bail by a sessions court. The other five had to go all the way up to the Delhi High Court before they were granted any relief.

Meanwhile, orders in the bail pleas moved by co-accused Umar Khalid has been deferred to 21 March, and by Saleem Malik and Sharjeel Imam to 22 March.

Earlier Jahan was granted interim bail in June 2020 for 10 days to get married and was directed not to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.

The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Jahan, along with co-accused Gulfisha Fatima and Khalid Saifi, have allegedly suffered custodial violence, according to World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

Besides Jahan, activist Khalid Saifi, Umar Khalid, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.

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