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Freedom for Ishrat Jahan as Court grants her bail!

An advocate, activist and a political activist, Ishrat Jahan was granted bail after 25 long months

Sabrangindia 14 Mar 2022

Ishrat jahan

On Monday late afternoon, March 14, 2022, the Karkadooma sessions court granted bail to lawyer-activist Ishrat Jahan after 25 months of incarceration. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had reserved orders in Jahan's bail plea in February this year after extensive arguments had been made by her counsel Pradeep Teotia appearing on behalf of Ishrat Jahan. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared for prosecution. Ishrat Jahan’s bail application was granted in FIR 59/2020 which alleges a larger conspiracy in the Delhi Riots that happened in 2020. She was arrested on February 26, 2020, and has been under custody since then. This was a case under the controversial Unlawful Practices Act -- UAPA case-- the second case slammed against one of the leading anti-CAA protesters in Delhi. Ishrat Jahan, a Congress councillor was active in leading the protest at Khureji, Delhi. Till 7.30 p.m. the bail order was not out and is expected to be made public late in the night.

Ishrat was initially arrested on February 26, 2020, on charges of “inciting violence, rioting and attempt to murder” under the Indian Penal Code. After spending a month in judicial custody, Ishrat along with four others were granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Manjusha Wadhwa on March 21, 2020. The court had noted that the role assigned to Ishrat is that she incited the crowd to remain present at the protest spot as well as raised slogans of freedom, however, no overt act had been imputed to her regarding taking law into her own hands. 

On the same day, she was re-arrested under UAPA charges and has remained in jail since then. For a brief period of 10 days, she was released on interim bail on account of her wedding in June 2020. Ishrat had moved for interim bail in November, which had been then rejected by the Delhi Sessions Court.

Making the argument on Ishrat Jahan’s behalh, advocate Teotia had added, "They have created a fear amongst people. She has been a lawyer. She was a young political person. She has a brilliant acumen. I was victorious from a ward where Muslims were less in number. Both the sects had given vote to her. No Muslim had even won from the said ward."

"She was a popular lady. They have no single iota of evidence regarding her involvement in the conspiracy. There has to be something."

Prosecution's Arguments 

According to Prasad, it was submitted that is the the prosecution's case that there was a premeditated conspiracy to commit North East Delhi riots between the accused.  In view of this, he had submitted that whoever does whatever singular act as a part of criminal conspiracy will be responsible for other's act.  Prasad had relied on the chargesheet to argue that a WhatsApp group was created called MSJ allegedly formed by Sharjeel Imam. Reading the contents of chargesheet, Prasad had said that the chats revealed that Imam was in touch with a "communal and radical group called Students of Jamia." FIR 59/2020 registered against Jahan contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984 and other offences under Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Others who were charge-sheeted in FIR 59/2020 include Former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik and Athar Khan. A supplementary charge-sheet was thereafter filed in the case against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam. The bail applications, pending orders against Imam and Umar Khalid have now been further delayed and reserved for March 21. 

CJP has been actively campaigning for Ishrat’s release and showcasing her relentless struggle over the past 25 months. The timeline of her journey. can be referred here. Ishrat allegedly used to be “beaten, abused and called a terrorist” by inmates, in her cell in Mandoli jail. Jahan had told the court that she was attacked, beaten up and verbally abused that morning, and that one of her attackers slit her own hand so that she was punished based on a false complaint. 

 Her husband, Farhan Hashmi had previously alleged, “Her clothes have been torn, her head smashed against the wall several times. She is being constantly abused and threatened. They are constantly extorting her to do things... to let her live peacefully. They are saying things like she has to arrange a litre of milk everyday.” There were sustained news reports in which Ishrat Jahan had told the additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat that this was the second such attack within one month. She said she had been assaulted, and was under “immense stress due to the continuous physical and verbal harassment.” 

Here is a list of 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protestors who have been vilified in Delhi and must not be forgotten. Over the past few months, bail applications to several of those young leaders accused of a ‘conspiracy’ behind the Delhi 2020 violence have been heard. While in 2020 most cases were rejected by lower courts, on June 15, 2021 three such activists, Asif Iqbal Tabha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal were granted bail by a division bench of the Delhi high court. In landmark verdicts the Court held that the offences, if at all made out did not fall under the ambit of “terrorist act” as defined under the UAPA. An analysis of the Delhi High Court verdict may be read here and here. 

Freedom for Ishrat Jahan as Court grants her bail!

An advocate, activist and a political activist, Ishrat Jahan was granted bail after 25 long months

Ishrat jahan

On Monday late afternoon, March 14, 2022, the Karkadooma sessions court granted bail to lawyer-activist Ishrat Jahan after 25 months of incarceration. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had reserved orders in Jahan's bail plea in February this year after extensive arguments had been made by her counsel Pradeep Teotia appearing on behalf of Ishrat Jahan. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared for prosecution. Ishrat Jahan’s bail application was granted in FIR 59/2020 which alleges a larger conspiracy in the Delhi Riots that happened in 2020. She was arrested on February 26, 2020, and has been under custody since then. This was a case under the controversial Unlawful Practices Act -- UAPA case-- the second case slammed against one of the leading anti-CAA protesters in Delhi. Ishrat Jahan, a Congress councillor was active in leading the protest at Khureji, Delhi. Till 7.30 p.m. the bail order was not out and is expected to be made public late in the night.

Ishrat was initially arrested on February 26, 2020, on charges of “inciting violence, rioting and attempt to murder” under the Indian Penal Code. After spending a month in judicial custody, Ishrat along with four others were granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Manjusha Wadhwa on March 21, 2020. The court had noted that the role assigned to Ishrat is that she incited the crowd to remain present at the protest spot as well as raised slogans of freedom, however, no overt act had been imputed to her regarding taking law into her own hands. 

On the same day, she was re-arrested under UAPA charges and has remained in jail since then. For a brief period of 10 days, she was released on interim bail on account of her wedding in June 2020. Ishrat had moved for interim bail in November, which had been then rejected by the Delhi Sessions Court.

Making the argument on Ishrat Jahan’s behalh, advocate Teotia had added, "They have created a fear amongst people. She has been a lawyer. She was a young political person. She has a brilliant acumen. I was victorious from a ward where Muslims were less in number. Both the sects had given vote to her. No Muslim had even won from the said ward."

"She was a popular lady. They have no single iota of evidence regarding her involvement in the conspiracy. There has to be something."

Prosecution's Arguments 

According to Prasad, it was submitted that is the the prosecution's case that there was a premeditated conspiracy to commit North East Delhi riots between the accused.  In view of this, he had submitted that whoever does whatever singular act as a part of criminal conspiracy will be responsible for other's act.  Prasad had relied on the chargesheet to argue that a WhatsApp group was created called MSJ allegedly formed by Sharjeel Imam. Reading the contents of chargesheet, Prasad had said that the chats revealed that Imam was in touch with a "communal and radical group called Students of Jamia." FIR 59/2020 registered against Jahan contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984 and other offences under Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Others who were charge-sheeted in FIR 59/2020 include Former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik and Athar Khan. A supplementary charge-sheet was thereafter filed in the case against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam. The bail applications, pending orders against Imam and Umar Khalid have now been further delayed and reserved for March 21. 

CJP has been actively campaigning for Ishrat’s release and showcasing her relentless struggle over the past 25 months. The timeline of her journey. can be referred here. Ishrat allegedly used to be “beaten, abused and called a terrorist” by inmates, in her cell in Mandoli jail. Jahan had told the court that she was attacked, beaten up and verbally abused that morning, and that one of her attackers slit her own hand so that she was punished based on a false complaint. 

 Her husband, Farhan Hashmi had previously alleged, “Her clothes have been torn, her head smashed against the wall several times. She is being constantly abused and threatened. They are constantly extorting her to do things... to let her live peacefully. They are saying things like she has to arrange a litre of milk everyday.” There were sustained news reports in which Ishrat Jahan had told the additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat that this was the second such attack within one month. She said she had been assaulted, and was under “immense stress due to the continuous physical and verbal harassment.” 

Here is a list of 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protestors who have been vilified in Delhi and must not be forgotten. Over the past few months, bail applications to several of those young leaders accused of a ‘conspiracy’ behind the Delhi 2020 violence have been heard. While in 2020 most cases were rejected by lower courts, on June 15, 2021 three such activists, Asif Iqbal Tabha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal were granted bail by a division bench of the Delhi high court. In landmark verdicts the Court held that the offences, if at all made out did not fall under the ambit of “terrorist act” as defined under the UAPA. An analysis of the Delhi High Court verdict may be read here and here. 

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