The Delhi Police on Monday opposed the bail plea of Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar in connection with the communal violence in February, saying her pregnancy does not dilute the gravity of the crime that she allegedly committed, News18 reported.
The police made the submissions in a status report sought by the Delhi High Court. “There is no exception carved out for pregnant inmate, who is accused of such heinous crime, to be released on bail merely because of pregnancy,” it said. “To the contrary, the law provides for adequate safeguards and medical attention during their custody in jail. In fact, more care and caution are being practised in jail so far as social distancing norms are concerned that would be available to her outside the jail premises.”
Zargar, who is the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The prosecution has alleged that she made an “inflammatory speech” on February 23 that led to violence and rioting in North East Delhi, leaving at least 53 people dead and hundreds injured over the next three days.
The 30-year-old, who is five months pregnant, has challenged a June 4 order of a trial court denying her bail in the case. In her bail application, she argued that from the material available on record, no act of any nature, is attributable to her for the violence. This is the fourth time her lawyers moved court since she was arrested on April 10.
The status report also said that Zargar is being provided adequate medical care in jail along with a good diet. “It is respectfully submitted that till date 39 deliveries have taken place in Delhi prisons in last 10 years,” the report said. It added that Zargar is not entitled to any “preferential treatment” when the law itself allows such kind of sanctions against a certain class of offenders.
“The very fact of rearing of life ought to have been a check on activities [by Zargar] which had a potential to cause, and which did in fact cause large-scale destruction of life and properties,” the report prepared by Special Cell Deputy Commissioner of Police PS Kushwaha said.
The police claimed that there are enough electronic and other evidence to establish Zargar’s role and her complicity in a “sinister design” to create unrest in Delhi. “The applicant/accused was not only disposed towards creating turmoil to severely undermine public order and imperil national security but erode and frustrate the civil compact which holds our polity together,” the report said, according to Hindustan Times. “It is also extremely crucial to note here that direct evidence is not always available of a conspiratorial design and mere absence of a contemporaneous record does not even remotely suggest the absence of a case against the applicant/accused because she stands clearly implicated by the evidence which stands unearthed by the investigation which is continuing even now and further trails of criminality is being unearthed.”
The Delhi High Court adjourned the hearing in the case till Tuesday on Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s request, LiveLaw reported.
On June 4, the trial court had rejected the Jamia student’s plea saying even if no direct violence was attributable to Zargar, she could not shy away from her liability under the provisions of the UAPA. “When you choose to play with embers, you cannot blame the wind to have carried the spark a bit too far and spread the fire,” the court had observed.