The day after a sessions court rejected the bail petition of Amulya Leona Noronha, the 19-year-old who was held on charges of sedition for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” at an anti-CAA protest in February, a magistrate’s court granted the college student “default bail” since the state had failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated time period.
Police in Bengaluru were due to file a chargesheet on May 20, when the 90-day period since her arrest ended, but did so only on June 3.
The delay enabled Amulya’s advocates to move a plea under section 167(2) of the CrPC, under which those arrested are entitled to bail at the end of 60/90 days given to the police for investigation — if a chargesheet is not filed by then.
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“I have heard that bail has been granted but I am yet to see the copy of the order,’’ said senior advocate and former state public prosecutor B T Venkatesh, who has been representing Amulya.
Initially, an application under the section was moved on May 30 before a sessions court since the lower courts were not functional during the lockdown, another advocate said. But the application was withdrawn last week since the powers for default bail fell within the jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court during case investigation, the advocate said.
Amulya, an orator often invited to anti-CAA rallies, was arrested in Bengaluru on the evening of February 20 after she started a speech by saying “Pakistan Zindabad”. Her friends later said she was trying to convey a message of universal humanity by hailing all nations, including India, as reflected in her social media posts.