Northeast Delhi riots: Student activist Gulfisha Fatima’s lawyer accuses prosecution of diversionary tactics

By Anand Mohan J / The Indian Express

Student activist Gulfisha Fatima’s lawyer told a Delhi court, which was hearing her bail application in a northeast Delhi riots UAPA case, that the prosecution was involved in diversionary tactics by challenging the maintainability of the bail applications of riot accused.

This development comes in the backdrop of the prosecution raising the issue of maintainability of the bail application filed by former councillor Ishrat Jahan before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.

In this case, the prosecution had argued that Jahan’s bail plea was filed under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the same could not be entertained by a special court. The prosecution had contended that Jahan’s only option was to withdraw the present bail plea and file a fresh one under the relevant provision of Section 437 CrPC.

In fact, many of the riot accused who have moved bail applications under this section now await the court’s order on maintainability on her bail application. The order on the same is expected to be passed later in the day.

In today’s hearing, the court informed Gulfisha’s lawyer, Mehmood Pracha, about the prosecution’s challenge to Jahan’s bail application.

Pracha told the court, “When personal liberty is involved nomenclature is not important”.

“Special court has all the powers. This is a diversionary tactic, you should take this seriously. Are you a sessions judge or a special judge for them? How are they approaching you then? If they go into technicalities they will land in a big soup. How are they remembering that you are a special judge now.”

Pracha said that this was a well-planned tactic of the prosecution. “You have exemplary powers, constitutional powers, and powers under the UAPA.”

Pracha told the court that the prosecution was lying to judges and they “cannot have their cake and eat it too.”

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