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Delhi Police Opposes Delhi Riots Accused Gulfisha Fatima's Plea for Release

Delhi Police Opposes Delhi Riots Accused Gulfisha Fatima's Plea for Release

On Wednesday (June 9, 2021), the Delhi Police denied a habeas corpus petition filed by Gulfisha Fatima, who is a student activist. 

She had filed the petition in order to seek the release in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act (UAPA) case relating to the alleged larger conspiracy that led to the February riots in North-East Delhi last year.

Fatima was arrested on 11 April 2021 in connection with a case involving communal violence and is currently being held in judicial custody. She had claimed that her detention in judicial custody is "illegal and invalid" 

The police had objected to the plea, claiming that Fatima's habeas corpus petition is not only unconstitutional, but also a "blatant abuse of the process of law that deserves to be dismissed with cost."

The case was heard by the vacation bench of Justices Rekha Palli and Amit Bansal. They had directed the fatima's council to file a rejoinder to the state's response and had scheduled the hearing on 18 June 2021

The reply, filed by Additional Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Adv. Rajat Nair, called the plea "false, frivolous, and vexatious."

"The petition was filed based on fictitious, fabricated, motivated, and absurd facts and circumstances in the case. In the current situation, there is no cause for action. The petition is completely misconceived, unjustified, and devoid of the case's merits, "the reply stated.

In response to Fatima's claim that her detention is illegal and invalid, the police reply states that  in the case the charge sheet was filed in the trial court on 11 September 2020 (last year).on the next day, the cognizance on it.

According to the response, on the order of the trial court,  Fatima was only placed in judicial custody, so her detention in judicial custody is "legal and valid."

It has also been pointed out that  she has also made a prayer for her release on personal bond and conditions for ensuring her attendance, while arguing that her detention is illegal.

According to the response, if any illusion of a cause of action was created in the case when none actually existed,   then on the first hearing itself it should have been nipped in the bud.

Fatima has raised the same arguments that the High Court previously rejected in a habeas corpus petition filed by her brother.The police argued that the petition is barred by the principles of res Judicata, constructive res judicata, and issue estopple, as well as being conceived with the intent to mislead the Court.

They contended that Fatima could not seek review or challenge the Court's earlier decision in a subsequent habeas corpus petition. Furthermore, she "cannot be permitted to raise the same ground(s) repeatedly."

On 24 february 2020 (last year), violence between Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protesters and supporters spiralled out of control, which lead to the communal clashes in the North-East Delhi.

Umar Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Tahir Hussain, Meeran Haider, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and Shifa Ur Rehman are among those charged in the case. All of the accused are being held in judicial custody.

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