Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad holds a copy of the 'Indian Constitution' during a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Jama Masjid in New Delhi on Friday. Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: Modifying its January 15 bail conditions for Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, a Delhi court on Tuesday allowed him to visit Delhi for electoral and medical purposes, according to Bar & Bench.
Waiving its curbs on Azad’s movement in Delhi in her January 15 order, additional sessions judge, Kamini Lau, however, directed the Bhim Army chief to stay in the address mentioned in his application whenever he visits Delhi, as also mark his presence before the DCP ( Crime).
The court was considering Azad’s application, filed by his lawyers Mehmood Pracha, M S Arya and OP Bharti, saying that Azad had a local residence in Delhi and was not a criminal, hence imposing such conditions on him were “wrong and undemocratic.”
The judge also noted that the prosecution could not show any material that Azad’s presence in the national capital would cause violence,
However, it directed Azad to provide the schedule of his visit to Delhi to the DCP concerned whenever he visits the capital for medical reasons or elections.
Azad’s application had said that being a social worker, curbs on his visit to Delhi except for medical purposes went against his fundamental rights.
The judge while reading out the order said: “In democracy, when election is the biggest celebration, which should have maximum participation, it is fair that he should be allowed to participate,” according to Live Law. She however, made it clear that the Bhim Army chief should not go to a place where a political rally is already being held.
Lau also rejected the prosecution’s submission that Azad indulged in hate speech, adding that this was not mentioned in the FIR filed against him, too.
“One is presumed innocent until pronounced guilty. There are politicians who are accused of rape and are sitting in Parliament. What is the cogent that you have against him? What is it that you feel will create a public problem?, the judge asked the prosecution.
She also noted that most of the offences in the FIR against Azad were bailable and no cogent material was present for proving the non-bailable offences. The court recorded the ACP's statement that no cogent material was available at this moment and investigation is ongoing, according to Bar & Bench.
“Don't make these allegations and submissions when there is no material,” she told the prosecution.
Arguing the case for the dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh, Azad’s lawyer, Pracha said the Bhim Army chief was the “only person who has been stopped from protesting in Delhi. It is violation of parity... In their heart… if I say that you will not believe… it's because he is a Scheduled Caste.”
It may be recalled that Azad was accused inciting people during an anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protest at Delhi’s Jama Masjid on December 20, which was followed by violence in Daryaganj area.
The court had restrained Azad from visiting Delhi for four weeks and directed him to not hold any 'dharna' till the elections in the national capital, while granting him bail in the case.
The court had directed the police to verify from the Election Commission whether Azad's office in Delhi is an office of a political party and asked it to submit a report by Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI)