Breaking: Delhi High Court grants Safoora Zargar bail in Delhi Riots case

The order was passed SG Tushar Mehta submitted that the prosecution would not object to Zargar's release on "humanitarian grounds".

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today granted activist Safoora Zargar bail in the case against her related to the North-East Delhi riots that took place earlier this year. (Safoora Zargar vs State)

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakhder via video conferencing.

Hearing in the matter was adjourned yesterday after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi urged the Court to defer hearing to allow them to seek certain instructions "in larger interest".

When the matter was heard today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the prosecution would not object to Zargar being released on regular bail, on "humanitarian grounds".

SG Mehta emphasized that the concession was being given without conceding to the assertions made by Zargar in her reply and without creating any precedent.

SG Mehta suggested that the bail should be subject to conditions, including one that Zargar would not visit Delhi. Advocate Nitya Ramakrishna, appearing for Zargar, however, objected to this condition.

In the meantime, Advocate Richa Kapoor, appearing for the Delhi government, pointed out that the procedure for appointment of special counsel was not followed.

However, Justice Shakhder made it clear,

"We are not going to get into this. Petitioner's interest should not be jeopardized."

After taking note of SG Mehta's submissions, the Court proceeded to grant bail to Zargar on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and surety of the like amount.

The Court has imposed the following conditions for bail:

- Zargar will not indulge in any activity for which she is being investigated which may infract the law.

- She will refrain from influencing witness.

- She will not hampering the investigation.

- She will not leave the National Capital region without seeking permission of the court concerned.

Additionally, Zargar has also been directed to be in touch with the investigating officer through mobile phone once every 15 days.

The Court made it clear that the order would not be cited as a precedent.

Safoora Zargar, who is 23 weeks pregnant, was arrested by the Delhi Police earlier this year on the allegation that she delivered inflammatory speeches on February 23 at Chand Bagh, which led to violence and rioting in North East Delhi.

Zargar's bail plea was rejected by the Sessions Court earlier this month after it opined that there was prima facie evidence to show that there was a conspiracy to at least blockade the roads.

The Sessions Court had observed that any activity which had the tendency to create disorder or disturbance of an extent which brings the entire city to its knees and the entire government machinery to a halt, as in the present case, would be treated as an unlawful assembly under Section 2(o) UAPA.

The Court had concluded that there was prima facie case against Zargar and in view of the statutory embargo under Section 43D (5) UAPA, bail could not be granted.

In reply to Zargar's plea for bail before the Delhi High Court, Delhi Police had sserted that there is "strong, cogent, reliable and sufficient material available proving the direct involvement" of Zargar in conspiring to destabilize the ruling Government and that pregnancy could not be a factor to release Safoora Zargar on bail.

Read the Order:

safoora. order. 23.6.20.pdf
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news