A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita, arrested by the crime branch in connection with the violence in Daryaganj during a protest against the citizenship amendment law last year.
The court noted that though Ms. Kalita participated in the protest against the NRC bill, "but so far as the investigation been carried out till now, no direct evidence attributable to the accused has been found to bring her for the offences under Sections 25/353 of Indian Penal Code (IPC)".
Section 325 IPC deals with punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt. And Section 353 provides for punishment for assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
"CCTV footage also reportedly does not specifically show the accused to be involved in any violent activity," Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Abhinav Pandey said adding, "It is also not been indicated that any incriminating material was recovered from the laptop and the phone which was seized from the accused".
"In such a situation, the inference whether the accused incited or participated in the mob violence or had intended to participate in a peaceful protest only which lateron acquired a violent nature, can only be reached upon after appreciation of evidence in course of trial," the judge said.
The court also took into account the fact that Ms. Kalita, an MPhil student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was not a habitual offender or a previous convict.
While granting bail to Ms. Kalita, the court ordered "stringent condition" including to co-operate with the investigating agency and also directed her to submit her passport with the court.
Advocates Adit S. Pujari and Tusharika Mattoo, appearing for Ms. Kalita, said their client was ready to cooperate with the investigation and willing to furnish bail and to undertake to comply with the conditions imposed by the court.
Ms. Kalita was first arrested on May 23, along with fellow student Ms. Natasha Narwal in relation with an FIR registered on February 24 over the sit-in protest at Jafrabad Metro Station against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Another Delhi court had on May 25 enlarged them on bail in connection with the anti-CAA protest in Jafrabad, but were moments later re-arrested by the crime branch in another case of rioting, murder and other charges related to the north-east Delhi riots.