We expect the trial court to expedite bail orders of student activists at the earliest, Delhi High Court said while hearing a plea on the immediate release of JNU’s Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and JMI’s Asif Iqbal Tanha on June 17, 2021.
This comes hours after the process to pass an order for the release of the student activists was deferred by the Additional Session Court Judge Ravindra Bedi on June 16, 2021.
“Once an order of bail is passed, it can’t be obstructed for administrative or ministerial reasons. I can be released and they can go ahead with verification. If it is an issue of verification, I am accused and they surely know where I stay. My address forms a part of their chargesheet…if it found that there is some problem, I will be back in custody,” Senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, who appeared for Tanha, told the bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambani.
“At the highest, we can only express that the proceedings before the HC must be conducted expeditiously,” Justice Mridul said, replying Aggarwal.
“What the Delhi Police has done is that they have very cleverly verified one surety for each appellant and said that there is an error regarding the second surety. The deficiencies are that they did not record the statements of the sureties or neighbours and these were pointed out when they came to our sureties’ houses,” Advocate Adit Pujari, who appeared for Narwal and Kalita, said.
“Obviously we expect the trial court to expedite the proceedings…This has to be done at a reasonable time. This cannot be an open process,” Justice Mridul said.
“The bail bond was given at 4:10 (pm) the Special Cell got it at 5.30. We were expected to file the report by 1 pm (next day). All the verification had to be done by one day…during verification certain glaring facts have come. We are not obstructing the release. We don’t have magical powers to verify from Assam and Jharkhand, addresses have certain glaring discrepancies,” Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad told the court.