Published: 09th June 2021
Delhi Police oppose Gulfisha Fatima's plea in High Court against detention in riots case
The police said the habeas corpus petition filed by Fatima is not maintainable and that it is nothing but a blatant abuse of the process of law and deserves to the dismissed with cost
The Delhi Police Wednesday opposed in the Delhi High Court a plea by student activist Gulfisha Fatima, accused in a case related to communal violence in north east Delhi last year, claiming that her detention in judicial custody was illegal and invalid. The court was hearing a plea by Fatima seeking for a direction to release her in a Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case relating to alleged larger conspiracy that led to the north east Delhi riots in February last year.
The police said the habeas corpus petition filed by Fatima is not maintainable and it is nothing but a blatant abuse of the process of law and deserves to the dismissed with cost. A vacation bench of Justices Rekha Palli and Amit Bansal asked Fatima's counsel to file rejoinder to the state's response and listed the matter for further hearing on June 18. The response filed by advocates Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair, representing the Delhi Police, claimed that the plea filed by the woman was false, frivolous and vexatious and also abuse and misuse of the process of law.
The petition has been filed on baseless, concocted, motivated and absurd facts and circumstances of the case. There is no cause of action in the present matter. The petition is absolutely misconceived, unmerited and being devoid of merits of the case, it said. Asserting that the petition is not maintainable, the police reply stated that on September 16, 2020, the charge sheet was filed before the trial court against Fatima and other accused and cognisance was taken the next day and the woman is in judicial custody pursuant to the trial court's order, therefore, her detention in judicial custody is legal and valid.
It said that a perusal of petition would reveal that on one hand Fatima is contending that the detention is illegal and on the other hand, she has made a prayer for her release on personal bond and conditions for securing her attendance. It is most humbly submitted that the courts have time and again observed that if clever drafting has created the illusion of a cause of action, nip it in the bud at the first hearing, the reply said.
Communal clashes had broken out in north-east Delhi on February 24, 2020 after violence between the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. Fatima was arrested in the case on April 11 and is currently under judicial custody. Beside her, other accused in the case are Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Tahir Hussain, Meeran Haider, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and Shifa ur Rehman and they are also currently undergoing judicial custody.