Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal granted bail after father dies of COVID-19

Natasha had earlier filed a bail application on the ground that her aged father had been hospitalized in Rohtak, Haryana on account of being Covid positive.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today granted three weeks’ interim bail to Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal, to enable her to perform the last rites of her father who passed away in Rohtak last night.

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J. Bhambhani noted that there is nobody else in the family to perform the cremation and last rites and that her father’s body is waiting in the hospital to be accepted.

“In view of the interest of justice, we are of the view that the release of the applicant is imperative in this hour of grief and personal loss and in facts and circumstances of the case. We accordingly release Natash Narwal, the applicant, on three weeks interim bail subject to the following conditions,” it ordered.

The relief is subject to furnishing of a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 50,000 to the satisfaction of Jail Superintendent.

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The matter was mentioned by Advocate Adit S Pujari before the bench, which had reserved a verdict on her bail plea last month. Advocate Pjari submitted that there is no one else in the family to perform the last rites and that the deceased’s body is waiting in the hospital to be accepted. He, therefore, sought that Natasha is released on interim bail for the same.

“Is there no other member in the family to do the cremation?” Justice Mridul asked. “There is no one, your lordships. Her mother passed away 15 years ago. Her brother is down with Covid,” Pujari responded.

Amit Mahajan for the State submitted that the averments are correct and that the State does not oppose the application.

The Court thereafter sought details of Natasha’s Residential address. It was informed that a police station is located near her house.

The Court has ordered that she will provide her telephone number to PS SHO Crime Branch, Special Cell.

Natasha had earlier filed a bail application on the ground that her aged father had been hospitalized in Rohtak, Haryana on account of being Covid positive. It was also stated that her brother, who was taking care of her father has also tested positive and was consequently unable to take care of their aged father.

The Bench had reserved its orders in Narwal’s bail plea on April 28.

Narwal is currently lodged in Tihar prison as an accused in a UAPA case alleging that the anti-CAA protests organized by her were a conspiracy to create communal riots.

Narwal has been accused of various offenses under the Indian Penal Code as well as the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. In January this year, a local Court in Delhi dismissed her bail plea. It observed that the allegations against her are prima facie true and the provisions of UAPA have been rightly invoked her.

In February, the High Court issued notice on an appeal against the said order. Last month, the High Court reserved judgment in her bail plea.

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