On Tuesday, the Supreme Court has ordered for the release of two social activists along with the rape survivor who were detained for indulging in oral arguments with the Magistrate in the Court in Araria District of Bihar.
The bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra and Krishna Murari while hearing the matter opined that this is ‘totally impermissible’ and granted bail on a personal bond of Rs. 10,000. Both the petitioners, Kalyani Badola and Tanmay Nivedita are working for an NGO called Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (JISS). According to the Araria District Magistrate, Mustafa Shahi, the petitioners were guilty of contempt of Court for misbehaving while supporting the rape victim. They were in detention since 10th July.
As per reports, the victim didn’t get support from her family as well and was in a state of trauma and anxiety and had requested the Court for the activists to be present while her statement was being recorded. However, the Magistrate mistook her nervousness and denied her request. Later an oral argument was exchanged between the officials and the two social activists, after which the accused trio were detained.
The petitioners submitted that subsequent detention is contrary to section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. A Writ Petition was also filed before the Patna High Court. However, this was delayed because of the COVID outbreak within the High Court staff. The FIR was registered against the petitioners on provisions of contempt of the Court Act.
This news has been written and submitted by Ms. Navya Sony during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Navya is a final year law student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune.