“Plea seeking electronic copies of protests against CAA not maintainable”: Police to Delhi HC

Umamageswari Maruthappan

The Delhi Police expressed to the Delhi High Court that the plea moved by Activist Devengana Kalita seeking electronic copies of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act is not maintainable.

The question of maintainability was raised before Justice Suresh K. Kait by Additional Solicitor General S V Raju who was appearing for the Delhi Police.

“Let the respondent (police) file an affidavit on the maintainability aspect within a week, with advance copy furnished to the other side. Response thereto, if any, be filed within five days thereafter,” the Court said.

The Court listed the matter for further hearing on 4th February 2021.

Kalita is an activist of the Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) Organization, founded in 2015. She is also a student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University and has taken active participation on issues concerning civil liberty.

At present, Kalita is under judicial custody. She has been accused of delivering hate speeches and for instigating the public against the Government of India.

The City Police invoked the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

However, Advocate Adit Pujari, appearing for Kalita, argued that the aforesaid act would not apply in her case as she was merely exercising her freedom of speech under Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution.

However, the High Court held the accusation valid and refused to grant bail.

Further, the young activist, on 4th December 2020, alleged that the police have not submitted full documents and that the police had carried out an “insidious” prosecution against her in the case of Delhi riots.

She further moved a plea seeking a copy of videos of protests against CAA and other available electronic data relating to the charges against her.

The Pinjra Tod Activist was represented by Advocates Adit S Pujari, Tusharika Mattoo and Kunal Negi.

On 8th December 2020, the Delhi High Court directed the City Police to submit its response in this regard.

However, the City Police, on 14th January 2021, told that the plea of Kalita is not maintainable.

Earlier, Kalita’s Counsel had sought copies of pen drive containing video clips between 22nd February 2020, and 26th February 2020; DVD containing video clips of the protests of 5th January 2020 and of the incident on February 25, 2020.

The counsel also requested copies of CD containing photographs and video clips of the Kalita.

DVDs containing video clips under Jaffarabad metro station between February 22, 2020, and February 23, 2020 were also sought.

A communal violence broke out in North-east Delhi between the protesters and supporters of Citizenship Bill on 24th February 2020 which killed at least 53 people, leaving around 200 injured.

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