SC refuses to cancel bail granted by Delhi HC to Delhi riots accused under UAPA

The Supreme Court Monday refused to cancel the bail granted to one Faizan Khan facing charges under the stringent anti-terror law- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Delhi riots case.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah dismissed the petition filed by Delhi Police challenging the Delhi High Court’s order granting bail to Khan.

Earlier the Supreme Court had declined to cancel the bail granted to Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita in a case related to the Delhi riots.

The Delhi High Court on October 23 while granting bail to Faizan had said that the  Delhi Police’s own status report did not disclose the commission of offences under the UAPA except certain bald statements of witnesses.

The allegations against Faizan Khan were that in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy with co-accused Asif Iqbal Tanha, one of the ‘main conspirators’, he deliberately issued a SIM card which was then used to manage the various protest sites and to mobilise the Muslim people of area at these sites, which had further led to a Chakka Jaam and riots at various protest sites in Delhi.

The High Court said that it was the duty of the investigating agency to demonstrate that Faizan had “actual knowledge” that the SIM card would be used for organizing the protests. It was imperative for the investigation agency to demonstrate that the petitioner had “active knowledge” about the utilization of the said SIM card. It is not alleged that the petitioner was party to any such conspiracy to organize protests.

The HC added the transaction relating to the SIM card had allegedly taken place on December 16, 2019, whereas the violence erupted in northeast Delhi around February 23, 25 this year. There is no proximate nexus, the Court said, between the alleged incidents nor is it alleged that the said SIM card was provided, on the pretext or with the intention/objective, to be utilized for organizing protests, etc.