ANI Photo | North East Delhi violence: Court dismisses Tasleem Ahmed’s plea seeking bail on parity with Natasha-Devangana

A Delhi Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea of accused Tasleem Ahmed, who sought regular bail on the ground of parity with three co-accused, namely Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha, in the larger conspiracy of the Delhi Riots of 2020.
The accused were booked under various stringent sections of the law, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The accused had sought bail on the ground of parity, as co-accused persons Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha were granted regular bail by the Delhi High Court on June 15, 2021, after allowing their appeals against the trial court order.
While dismissing Tasleem’s bail plea, the court said that the Delhi High Court held that the allegations under UAPA against Natasha, Devangana and Asif were not prima facie true. Therefore, the bar on granting bail under UAPA in their case doesn’t apply.
Special judge Sameer Bajpai said that the earlier bail application of accused Tasleem Ahmed by the predecessor court on March 16, 2022, wherein the court had held the allegations against the accused prima facie true.
“Hence the embargo created by Section 43D of UA(P)A applies for grant of bail to the accused and also the embargo contained in section 437 Cr.P.C.,” the court had held.
“Surprisingly, the said order of the ld. predecessor order has not been challenged by the applicant and this court now cannot review its own order and give any contrary opinion,” the court said in the order dated February 22, 2024.
The court also noted that the Supreme Court had directed that the judgment of the co-accused persons, as passed by the High Court of Delhi, shall not be treated as precedent and may not be relied upon by any of the parties in any of the proceedings.
Thereafter, while disposing off the said SLPs, the Supreme Court directed that, with the mentioned clarifications, the interim directions dated June 18, 2021, be made the final directions in the matter.
“It was, however, clarified that if the co-accused is entitled to a plea on parity, i.e. for him to make and the court to consider,” the court noted.
The applicant had sought relief on the ground of parity with the co-accused persons, namely Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha, as they had been granted bail by the Delhi High Court on June 15, 2021.
During arguments, it was submitted that the accused was arrested by the police on April 8, 2020, in another case and on June 24, 2020, he was wrongly and maliciously implicated in the present case related to the larger conspiracy of the Delhi Riots of 2020.
It was further submitted that although the bail application of the co-accused persons was dismissed by this court, the orders were overturned by the High Court and the co-accused persons were admitted to bail.
The counsel argued that the applicant, apart from deserving bail on merits alone, is now also entitled to be set at liberty on the grounds of parity.
On the other hand, the application was opposed by the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP). He mentioned that in the earlier bail application, the applicant had also raised grounds of parity and this court had been pleased to deal with the said plea, but the applicant was not given any favour.
It was further submitted that the applicant, under the guise of seeking bail on parity, cannot invite an order from the court on merit again when there is no change of circumstances

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