The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, as well as Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were arrested in connection with a bigger plot in the northeast Delhi riots in February last year. The appeals of the three defendants were permitted by a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani, who overturned the trial court’s denial of bail orders. The high court ordered Pinjra Tod activists Narwal, Kalita, and Tanha to hand over their passports and not to bribe prosecution witnesses or tamper with evidence in the case.
The three defendants were arrested in May of last year in connection with riots in Delhi’s northeast. Their names first appeared in an FIR filed by Delhi Police from the Jaffrabad protest site on February 24 under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public function), 188 (disobedience to duly promulgated public servant order), and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant).
The Indian Penal Code has sections 353 (assault or criminal force to prevent a public servant from performing his duties), 283 (danger or obstruction in a public way or line of navigation), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed as a result and there is no express provision for its punishment), 147 (rioting), and 34 (common intention).