Delhi HC grants Natasha Narwal bail after father passes away
A senior member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a noted scientist Mahavir Narwal, father of student/activist Natasha Narwal, passed away on Sunday after battling with covid-19, at a Rohtak hospital.
Delhi police had arrested Natasha last year under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), for alleged links to the conspiracy behind the Delhi riots that incurred quite a stir in the capital back in February 2020. She is with “Pinjra Tod”, a Delhi-based group of female students and alumni that works for women's rights.
Delhi High Court granted Natasha an interim bail for three weeks, considering the situation to be “imperative”. The current bail plea was actually filed on Friday evening, but the hearing was not scheduled until Monday. Mr. Narwal was not even allowed to talk to his daughter in jail before his demise, as reported by the news agency PTI. Natasha’s brother, Akash had also tested positive for the coronavirus. He is currently in isolation. The court thus observed that there was nobody in the family to perform his last rites and cremation. The bench hence agreed upon releasing Natasha on bail.
The division bench of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambani and Siddharth granted bail on a personal bond of Rs. 50,000. Delhi Police did not oppose the plea considering the grievous circumstances but submitted that Narwhal should not make any comments, posts, or tweets about the case. Natasha’s lawyer, Adit Pujari told the court that he would tell her to do so.
Condolences from students, activists, and leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Brinda Karat flooded the social media. The court’s delay in granting the bail has also faced severe criticism.