Updated: June 8, 2021 12:39:18 pm
The Delhi High Court has granted interim bail to student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha, accused in a northeast Delhi riot case, so that he may appear for his three remaining backlog BA examinations papers.
A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambani in an order dated June 4 granted interim bail to Tanha from 13 June to 26 June. The High Court also clarified that the period spent by the applicant on interim custody bail would be counted as a period undergone in prison as an undertrial.
Tanha had applied for an interim bail for a period of two weeks so that he may complete his B.A. (Hons.) (Persian) Programme at Jamia Millia Islamia University. He is facing trial in the main conspiracy case investigated by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
The examinations are in the Open-Book format and are to be conducted online. The High Court was informed that Tanha would “require access to the reading and study material for the subject in question along with access to a laptop/personal computer or smartphone, and most importantly access to a properly functioning, uninterrupted internet connection, so that there is no impediment to the smooth writing of the examinations”.
Tanha will be staying at a facility decided by the court with two prison guards. Tanha will have to bear the costs of his stay along with that of the prison guards. Furthermore, food for Tanha and the prison guards will be ordered through online applications or websites at his expense, the order stated.
Tanha has been directed to submit Rs 50,000 with the Jail Superintendent to cover the cost of the expenses and if there is a balance money after the expenses then that shall be returned to him.
The High Court has also barred him from visiting any guests during his stay and for use in examinations, he will have to arrange for a laptop computer, dongle/hotspot and a basic mobile phone (not a smartphone). This will be handed over to the SHO concerned for inspection and delivered to him on June 13.
Tanha has undertaken that he will not use the laptop computer or the mobile phone or the dongle/mobile hotspot device for any purpose other than for purposes of study. He will, however, be provided with the study material even before the commencement of the interim bail period.
Tanha’s lawyer Sowjhanya Shankaran pointed out to the court that due to the prevailing pandemic, “there are severe restrictions in prison on the movement of individuals, on access to services and facilities, and inmates are unable to even have the usual communication and meetings with family members and others”.
Shankaran submitted that “it will be all but impossible for the applicant to sit in the examinations from within prison; and that these examinations are crucial for his future career”.
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