Dissent, our draconian laws, bail and a step in the right direction4 min read . Updated: 20 Jun 2021, 09:52 PM IST
Three Delhi high court rulings offer hope against an over-carceral state but the struggle against harsh laws is far from over
A two-judge bench of the Delhi high court, comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Bhambhani, on Tuesday granted bail to student activists Asif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita. The three, along with many others, had been accused of a conspiracy to turn the anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest violent, leading to “Delhi Riots" last February, and were charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The judgements are a refreshing read, not only because they tackle the mythical legal beast called UAPA by pushing it inside a constitutional law framework, but also because they chart out a clear road-map for securing bail under a draconian legislation like UAPA, which not only contains visibly broad and vague provisions blurring the line between anti-terror laws and ordinary penal law, but also Section 43(D)(5) which makes bail extremely difficult to get.