Editorial: Law & Order

A Delhi court has rejected the bail plea of student activist Gulfisha Khatoon, arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Khatton sought statutory bail in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February. The court also turned down the applications of Saleem Khan and Tasleem Ahmed, arrested in the case under UAPA, seeking statutory bail.

Khatoon, Khan and Ahmed had sought statutory bail on the grounds that the charge sheet was not filed within the mandatory time period of 90 days. They also said that the court, which was presently hearing the matter, did not have jurisdiction over the case.

The court said the period for completion of investigation in the case was extended till 17 September and the charge sheet was filed on 16 September; its cognisance was taken the next day.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said in the order passed on 19 October, that the Delhi High Court had authorised the sessions court for trial of cases relating to the February riots in which scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, were also made out.

Regarding the competence of this court/ undersigned (Sessions Judge Rawat) to deal with the present matter, the same is without merit…, it said in its order. Gulfisha is in judicial custody in the case since April, and Ahmed and Khan since June.

The three persons have been chargesheeted in the case for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy in the riots. Communal clashes in Delhi grabbed global attention and painted a bad picture about India. Those involved in it should be shown no mercy.


NT Bureau