Delhi HC finally grants bail to Asif Iqbal, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal

News Network
June 15, 2021

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New Delhi, June 15: A division bench of Justices Sidharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani of the Delhi High Court today allowed bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha and Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case under UAPA.

Bail is subject to personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two local sureties. Conditions for bail include the three surrendering their passports and not indulging in activities that would hamper the case.

Narwal and Kalita, PhD scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective, have also been in custody since May 2020. Recently Narwal was allowed interim bail to attend the last rites of her now deceased father.

The Delhi High Court earlier reserved orders in Jamia Millia Islamia student, Asif Iqbal Tanha's appeal against the rejection of his bail in connection with a case related to larger conspiracy in Delhi Riots that broke out last year.

A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Bhambhani reserved the order.

Tanha has challenged an order dated 26th October 2020 dismissing his bail plea who was arrested under the stringent UAPA. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat rejected the bail application after prima facie observing that the case was maintainable against Tanha and that he allegedly played an active role in the entire conspiracy.

Advocate Siddharth Agarwal appeared on behalf of the accused, Tanha whereas Aman Lekhi appeared on behalf of the State authorities before the Delhi High Court.

In the FIR 59/2020, which was lodged by Delhi Police in the Delhi riots conspiracy case, a total of 15 people were named and Tanha, Narwal and Kalita were part of them. The police claimed that Tanha played an active role in orchestrating the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

It was also alleged he is a close associate of Safoora Zargar, Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and others, and thet he is a "key members of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots in the national Capital". It was also submitted that Tanha conspired, along with others, to "overthrow the Government" by setting up a chakka jam (road blockade) in Muslim-dominated areas.

Police also claimed that Tanha purchased a mobile SIM card by using fake documents and the same was used in planning the chakka jaam, riots etc and it was used to create a WhatsApp group. It was also claimed that the SIM was subsequently provided to another Jamia student and co-accused Safoora Zargar to organise further protests.

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News Network
July 28,2021

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Bengaluru, July 28: Basavaraj Bommai took oath as the 26th Karnataka Chief Minister at Raj Bhavan today, with B S Yediyurappa and other senior leaders present at the ceremony.

Bommai visited a temple ahead of the oath-taking. BJP supporters gathered outside Raj Bhavan ahead of Basavaraj Bommai’s oath-taking ceremony. 

Bommai's appointment is the second instance in the state's politics for a father-son duo to have occupied the top post. 

Soon after his election as the leader of the BJP legislature party, Bommai, along with caretaker Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, drove to the Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government on Tuesday.

Ending months of speculation over his exit, Yediyurappa on Monday stepped down as the Chief Minister, coinciding with his government completing two years in office. The Governor had accepted Yediyurappa's resignation and dissolved the Council of Ministers headed by him, with immediate effect, but had asked him to continue to function as Chief Minister till alternate arrangements were made.

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News Network
July 27,2021

Bengaluru, July 27: Former MLA and former president of JD(S) youth wing Madhu Bangarappa will join the Congress during the party's meeting to be held at Gokul Garden in Hubballi on July 30 at 9:00 am.

Bangarappa and his supporters will join the party in the presence of AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC president D K Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, said Congress leader Rajat Ullagaddimath.

JD(S) leaders Kiran Hiremath, Basavaraj Mayakar (Bellad) and other leaders in Hubballi will also join the Congress, a press release stated.

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News Network
July 27,2021

New Delhi, July 27: Reports on Israeli Pegasus spyware allegedly being used to spy on opposition leaders, two union ministers and 40 journalists among others should be investigated by a sitting or former judge, senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar have said in a petition to the Supreme Court.

The petition says the global investigation involving several leading publications around the world has revealed that more than 142 persons in India were identified as potential targets for surveillance using Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus spyware.

The petition says the Supreme Court should direct the government to disclose whether it has obtained a license for the spyware or used it - directly or indirectly - to conduct surveillance of any kind.

According to the petitioners, the forensic analysis of several mobile phones belonging to people listed as potential targets by the Security Lab of Amnesty International have confirmed security breaches.

Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, two union ministers, businessman Anil Ambani, a former CBI chief, a virologist and 40 journalists are on the list of 300 phones from India revealed to be on the list of potential targets on the leaked database of NSO. It is not established, however, that all the phones were hacked.

Two petitions were filed earlier in the Supreme Court on the same case, one by CPM MP John Brittas and the other by advocate ML Sharma.

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