Supreme Court allows interim bail to anti-CAA protesters

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File  

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed interim bail to 21 anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters accused of violence in Mangaluru district in December last year.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde referred to an earlier Karnataka High Court observation that “it was not possible to prima facie determine the presence of the accused persons at the spot” while granting them bail.


At the same time, the court made it clear that the High Court's observation would not be treated as a “final finding of fact” during trial. “We make it clear that the observations of the High Court on question of fact and law are obviously made prima facie and shall not affect the trial,” the Supreme Court noted.

When the virtual court hearing began, senior advocate R. Basant along with advocate Haris Beeran, for the protestors, highlighted that none of the protesters, aged between 19 and 43 years, had any criminal antecedents.

“That is why we are asking you what the conditions of their bail should be. Otherwise, we would have imposed the conditions and not asked you,” Chief Justice Bobde replied.

The court finally ordered they would have to report to the nearest police station every alternative Monday and should not participate in any violent activities/meetings.


The apex court, in March, had stayed a February order of the High Court granting them bail. The accused have been in jail for six months.

The accused said they were the sole breadwinners of their families. They would suffer irreparable harm and prejudice if bail was not granted. They said the situation had drastically changed with the spread of the pandemic and jail was not safe. They reminded the court of its own order that an undertrial should be granted bail. The accused pointed out that their chargesheet had been filed already and there was no probe pending at this time.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:22:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/supreme-court-allows-interim-bail-to-anti-caa-protesters/article32565139.ece

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