Court Modifies Chandra Shekhar Aazad's Bail Conditions, Now Allowed to Visit Delhi

The judge allowed the Bhim Army chief's application after observing that the prosecution could not show any material that his presence in the national capital would cause violence.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday agreed to modify the conditions of bail granted to Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and allowed him to visit Delhi and campaign for elections if he so chooses.

Aazad was arrested by the Delhi police during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Daryaganj. He was granted bail on January 15, but the judge had asked him to leave Delhi until the assembly elections, scheduled on February 8, are held and also imposed some other conditions. The Bhim Army chief had appealed the conditions.

On Tuesday, additional sessions judge Kamini Lau allowed Aazad to visit Delhi, but said he should inform the DCP (crime) about his visit and day schedule. According to LiveLaw, he was also asked to stay only at the address he has mentioned in the application.

Judge Lau allowed Aazad’s application, noting that the prosecution “could not show any material that his presence in the national capital would cause violence”. His plea was filed by advocates Mehmood Pracha and O.P. Bharti and said the Bhim Army chief is “not a criminal” and imposing such conditions is undemocratic.

Also Read: ‘Won’t Bow Before This Govt’: Aazad Promises to Carry on Anti-CAA Movement Before Leaving Delhi

“In democracy when election is the biggest celebration, which should have maximum participation, it is fair that he should be allowed to participate”, the judge said in the order. She also slammed the prosecution when it said Aazad may “repeat the same offence”. Judge Lau asked what offence the Bhim Army chief had committed, before remarking, “He’ll read the preamble [of the Constituion]?” She also remarked that every citizen should read the preamble.

When the public prosecutor then said Aazad could recite hate speech, the judge said that in all the FIRs submitted there were no sections regarding hate speech. The prosecutor then conceded that there were no charges relating to hate speech.

According to LiveLaw, the modified conditions for bail are that instead of marking attendance every Saturday in Saharanpur, Aazad may mark it either in Saharanpur or in Delhi, with the DCP (crime). If he is not in either place, he is required to telephonically inform the DCP of his whereabouts. While the previous bail order allowed Aazad to visit Delhi only for medical purpose, the modified order allows him to visit the national capital for “medical or any election purpose”.

During the hearing of arguments, judge Lau also noted that many offences in the FIR against the Bhim Army chief were bailable and that there was no material showing his prima facie involvement in the non-bailable offences alleged.

Speaking at Jama Masjid after his release, Aazad recited the preamble in Hindi again and added that the CAA-NPR-NRC are kala kanoon (black laws). “I went there because Jama Masjid has historical relevance in our nationalist movement. Maulana Azad had exhorted Indian people to oppose Partition of India on religious lines from there. India is on the verge of yet another such partition today. It is my constitutional duty to oppose these laws,” he said.