Police oppose Gulfisha Fatima’s plea claiming ‘illegal’ detention

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The Delhi police on Wednesday opposed a plea by student activist Gulfisha Fatima, who claimed that her detention in judicial custody was illegal and invalid. She is an accused in a case related to the north-east Delhi riots last year

“A bare perusal of the averments made in the petition would reveal the present petitioner [Ms. Fatima] has styled a bail petition into habeas corpus petition,” the Delhi police said in an affidavit before the High Court.

The court was hearing a plea by Ms. Fatima seeking a direction to release her in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case relating to alleged larger conspiracy that led to the north-east Delhi riots.

The police said: “The present petition has been so drafted as to show the detention of the petitioner is illegal in the eyes of the law. However, a bare perusal of the prayer sought would reveal that the intent behind the present petition is to circumvent the well settled principles of law and secure bail of the petitioner.”

“The petition has been filed on baseless, concocted, motivated and absurd facts and circumstances of the case. There is no cause of action in the present matter. The petition is absolutely misconceived, unmerited and being devoid of merits of the case,” the police said.

The police said that Ms. Fatima’s petition was “not maintainable” before the High Court. It said that on September 16 last year the chargesheet was filed before a trial court against her and other co-accused.

It added that on September 17, 2020, the trial court had taken cognisance of the offences. “The petitioner is in judicial custody pursuant to the order passed by the trial court under Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Therefore, detention of the petitioner in judicial custody is legal and valid,” the police said.

A Vacation Bench of Justice Rekha Palli and Justice Amit Bansal asked Ms. Fatima’s counsel to file rejoinder to the police’s response and listed the case for hearing on June 18.


This article was originally published on The Hindu