THE High Court of Karnataka has granted default bail to people arrested in connection with the violence that occurred on August 11 when a mob of over 1,000 people had set ablaze the DJ Halli police station and the house of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy in Kavalbyrasandra.
The riots were triggered by a Facebook post by a nephew of MLA. Four people were killed in the riots. In addition, police arrested hundreds of people under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an application in the Special Court for an extension for completion of investigation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, as It could not complete the probe within the stipulated period of 90 days. The Special Court had extended the time to complete the investigation by 90 days in November last year.
The applications filed by petitioners for default bail were rejected in January. Pasha and other accused moved the high court in January this year. The court on Wednesday noted that the application filed by the prosecution requesting an extension of time for completion of the investigation without notifying the accused would frustrate their indefeasible right for statutory bail.
Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty passed the order while allowing petitions filed by Muzamil Pasha and 114 others who were arrested on August 12, 2020.
The high court set aside a special court’s order to give the National Investigation Agency (NIA) an additional 90 days to complete the investigation. The court did not give an opportunity of hearing for the accused- petitioners on the application filed by NIA.
The high court observed that the special court order is legally unsustainable under the provision of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, as the accused petitioner was neither present in the court nor notified by NIA, resulting in the extension of the investigation.