Issue of Bail: Relief to Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome. Prolonged imprisonment of other Bhima Koregaon accused must also be questioned

News: Bombay High Court granted bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Reasons behind the delay in bail, and what is the High Court’s observation on it?

Under the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case, the state opposed all bail pleas of the accused, even if some of them were ailing. Even the Bombay High Court granted medical bail to poet Varavara Rao only when his health got deteriorated. Father Stan Swamy succumbed to illness in the custody only, despite his repeated request for bail plea.

Read here: Sudha Bharadwaj bail: how HC spelt out limitations of sessions court
How judiciary maintains a balance against state overreach?

It can be seen that the state continues to apply the UAPA against journalists, lawyers, etc. Here, the court plays the important role in providing relief can be visible in the following cases:

Lower courts in Assam granted bail to those arrested under UAPA for social media posts that supported the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan.

In Union of India v K A Najeeb and Ashim vs NIA, the Supreme Court has sought to balance the restrictions on bail and the fundamental rights of the accused.

Delhi High Court, while granting bail to anti-CAA-NRC activists, sought to raise the bar for UAPA in denying bail, but the Supreme Court stepped in to say it will not be treated as a precedent.

Read more: Issue of Bail under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) – Explained, Pointwise

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • Pique and petulance published in The Hindu on 4th December 2021.
  • Relief to Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome. Prolonged imprisonment of other Bhima Koregaon accused must also be questioned published in Indian Express on 4th December 2021.
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