On 15 January, a Delhi Court granted bail to the Bhim Army Chief, Chandrashekhar Azad, after a month of his arrest for allegedly instigating violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Daryaganj, Old Delhi.
The bench headed by Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau levied certain conditions to Azad before granting him bail. One such condition was to stay out of Delhi for the next four weeks, given the security during Delhi elections. The court further stated that he cannot participate in dharnas for around a month, and directed him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 25,000.
“These are special circumstances. I do not want any trouble during the Delhi elections. If he (Azad) has planned for any dharnas, he should not carry them for a month,” asserted Judge Lau. The court further added that “Azad has to mark his presence with SHO in Saharanpur every Saturday for the next 4 weeks. Subsequently, every month’s last Saturday till charge sheet has been filed.”
Chandrashekar was in judicial custody since his arrest from Jama Masjid during the anti CAA protests. He was booked under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Subsequently, in his bail application, Azad alleged that the Delhi Police invoked ‘boilerplate’ charges and arrested him ‘mechanically’ without following the due process of law.
However, as per reports, the advocate Mehmood Pracha appearing for Azad was dissatisfied with the order of Delhi Court and stated that “Obviously Delhi is not in Pakistan. Then why are you preventing him from going there? Why are you preventing him from going to Shaheen Bagh when everyone else is allowed to go there? While political leaders from the opposition ranks throughout the country have been protesting against the discriminatory nature of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), why is only he being targeted, why is the government scared of him.”