The Delhi High Court on Monday granted three weeks interim bail to anti-Citizenship Amendment Act activist Natasha Narwal a day after her father lost his life to COVID. "In view of the foregoing and interest of justice, we are of the view that the release of the applicant is imperative in this hour of grief and personal loss," the Court observed.
"Shri Mahavir Narwal is survived only by Akash Narwal (brother) who is in self-isolation owing to COVID 19 and Natasha Narwal. Therefore, there is nobody else in the family to perform the last rites and cremation," the high court noted in its order.
The high court granted interim bail almost a year after the Pinjra Tod activist was arrested by the Delhi police in connection with the February 2020 communal riots that swept North-East Delhi killing at least 58 and injuring hundreds. Narwal has been charged under several provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.
The division bench of the high court comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Bhambani directed her released on furnishing a personal bond amounting to Rs 50,000. Narwal is directed to give an operational phone number on which she can be reached to the Special Cell, Delhi Police's anti-terror unit. The same number will also be provided to the local police within which her Rohtak (Haryana) residence falls.
The court further barred her from speaking about or posting anything in connection with the case.
Narwal had moved the high court seeking interim bail in light of her father's death on Sunday evening.
Even as the court had already reserved its order on her bail appeal on April 26, advocate Adit Pujari, representing Narwal had filed another application seeking interim bail on May 7. Pujari sought interim bail submitting that Mahavir Narwal, Natasha's father, and her brother Aakash were both COVID positive. While Mahavir was hospitalized, Aakash was in home isolation, thus unable to care for their aged father.
"In the pleading, we had sought interim bail on the ground that the father is down with COVID-19. Unfortunately, he passed away last evening. The brother also has COVID," Pujari told the high court today.
"Are you opposing?" the division bench asked the Delhi Police. "Not at all," advocate Amit Mahajan appearing for the police had said.