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North-east Delhi riots accused and JNU student Devangana Kalita has been granted bail by the Delhi High Court today on the grounds of lack of evidence. The Delhi High court said that the police could not produce any material establishing Kalita’s role in instigating the violence.
In the bail order, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed, “I have gone through the inner case diary produced in a sealed cover along with the pen drive and found that though her presence is seen in peaceful agitation, which is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, however, failed to produce any material that she in her speech instigated women of a particular community or gave hatred speech due to which precious life of a young man sacrificed and property damaged”.
The court granted the bail after noting that Devangana Kalita satisfied the triple test which is a prerequisite for granting bail. The test requires that there should be no chance of the person absconding, no probability of tampering with the evidence and of coercing the witnesses. Justice Kait further observed, “In my considered opinion, no prejudice will be caused to the respondent’s investigation by the grant of relief to the petitioner and she would be prevented from suffering from further unnecessary harassment, humiliation and unjustified detention”.
Devangana Kalita is one of the founders of the far-left Pinjra Tod group that claims to work for gender equality. She was booked by the police under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly conspiring to incite the riots. She was arrested by the police in the month of May by the crime branch of the Delhi police after earlier being released on bail earlier.
Kalita is named as an accused in an FIR lodged in the Jafrabad police station under the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act.