NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved orders in student leader Gulfisha Fatima’s bail plea challenging the trial court’s order denying her bail in case of criminal conspiracy to organise the February 2020 riots.
A division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar said, “Arguments heard, order reserved”.
Fatima was denied bail by trial court in March 2022.
A copy of the detailed order is awaited.
Fatima’s counsel, advocate Sushil Bajaj had earlier submitted that all the prosecution witnesses are either hearsay or the persons who were not present at all the protest meetings. He argued that the first step should be to corroborate the evidence.
Bajaj had also alleged that each of the witnesses is a pardoned accused and they are masquerading as witnesses against Fatima.
As per the police, in the disclosure statement, Fatima had told police about the January 15 Seelampur demonstration, and said: “The crowd had started growing according to the plan, big leaders and lawyers started coming in to provoke and mobilise this crowd, including Omar Khalid, Chandrashekhar ‘Ravan’, Yogendra Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, and lawyer Mehmood Pracha.”
According to the charge sheet, “Pracha said that sitting in the demonstration is your democratic right and the rest of the leaders fuelled the feeling of discontent in the community by calling CAA and NRC anti-Muslim.”
The names of economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor, and activist Apoorvanand, and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy also figured in the charge sheet. In the statement, activisits Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal had said that they were asked by the three persons to protest against the CAA and NRC and go to any extreme.
Fatima, along with several others including Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider, Mohammad Saleem Khan and Shifa Ur Rehman, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Act for allegedly being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 riots, which left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. — IANS