“You are behaving as if Jama Masjid was in Pakistan and even if it was Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India,” the court said.
The bail hearing of Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad witnessed some crucial observations made by Tis Hazari Additional Sessions Judge Dr. Kamini Lau.
The Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application saying that Azad had incited violence through his social media posts.
The court asked the investigating officer of the police to put on record all the evidence which showed that Azad was allegedly giving incriminatory speeches at the gathering at Jama Masjid and any law which showed that the gathering there was unconstitutional.
The social media posts mentioned about Azad’s call for protests and dharna near Jama Masjid to oppose CAA-NRC. To which judge said-
“What is wrong with dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one’s constitutional right to protest.”
Observing that there was nothing violent about the posts, the judge continued:
“Where is the violence? What is wrong with any of these posts? Who says you cannot protest?. Have you read the constitution?”
Further during the hearing, judge Kamini Lau lambasted Delhi police shallow understanding of law and constitution. She also came down heavily on random arrests being made for protests and abuse of section 144.
During the time when we see entire judiciary bending over backwards to appease and accommodate the ruling regime dictatorial commands, Judge Kamini Lau’s takedowns in the Delhi Tiz hazari courts come as a refreshing change. Here are some her savage statements-
When the Prosecutor replied that permission had to be taken for protests, the Judge said-
- “What permission? Supreme Court has said repeated use of 144 is abuse (referring to recent Kashmir case decision)”.
- Azad was a “budding politician” who had the right to protest. The Judge also added that she has seen many people who had protested outside Parliament going on to become leaders and Ministers later on.
- “I want you to show me under which law is it prohibited for someone to prohibit outside religious places”, the judge asked the Prosecutor.
Azad’s lawyer Pracha submitted that no case was made out to arrest him, and that action was only to stifle dissent.
At this juncture, the Prosecutor said that there was “drone footage” evidence of Azad giving inflammatory speeches. Denying this, Pracha said that Azad was only reading Constitution and speaking against CAA-NRC during the dharna.
Later the judge adjourned the hearing till 2 PM tomorrow, at the request of the Prosecutor. Before adjourning the session, she commented-
“In the colonial era the protests were out on the roads. But your protest can be legal, inside the courts. Inside the parliament things which should have been said were not said and that is why people are out on the streets. We have full right to express our views but we cannot destroy our country.”
Last week, the judge had slammed Tihar jail for failing to provide medical treatment at AIIMS to Azad for his medical condition ‘Polycythemia’. The Court then directed to provide Azad treatment at AIIMS for his special medical condition.
Azad was arrested by the Delhi Police on the intervening night of 20-21 December from the gates of the Jama Masjid after the Daryaganj protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were disrupted, leading to violence.
Azad, currently in judicial custody, claimed he has been falsely implicated as the allegations levelled against him in the FIR were not only “ill-founded”, but also “improbable”.