The Hon’ble division bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, while hearing the arguments advanced by Advocate Jatin Bhatt and Additional Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for the state, ruled that it would be sensible to dismiss by plea filed by Delhi riots accused Gulshifa Fatima as the Hon’ble court cannot decide the validity of a remand order in a petition related to the writ of Habeas Corpus. The Hon’ble court has stated that the petition was misplaced and that it did not make sense. The accused had been kept in judicial custody for the sake of investigation and had been seeking release on the grounds of her constant denial of the charges pressed against her in relation to the larger conspiracy that had led to the riots in northeast Delhi in February.
Advocate Jatin Bhatt, appearing for Gulshifa stated that the petition was filed for the release of his client as she had been kept in illegal custody according to her claims. The remand order does not signify the extension of the judicial custody that she has been kept in. On the other hand, the advocate appearing on behalf of the state produced that in the previous hearing, the same claims had already been dismissed by the Hon’ble court when the brother of the accused had come up with a baseless argument regarding the release of his sister.
Fatima had been arrested on 11th April on the charges that included various sections from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (hereinafter referred to as “UAPA, 1967”). The police had submitted that the complaint against her had been registered on 16th September 2020 and had been given due recognition along with the charge sheet on the next day by the Hon’ble trial court. It was per the orders of the Hon’ble trial court that the accused had been taken into judicial custody, stated the police while submitting the relevant documents before the Hon’ble court. the petition filed by the plaintiff has therefore been stated to be not maintainable as it is res judicata, constructive res judicata, and issue estoppel apart from being an attempt to mislead the Hon’ble court and misuse the respectable and vital writ of Habeas Corpus.
Several people had been taken into custody after the Delhi riots that took place in February 2021. The issue is extremely sensitive and involves grave charges. Therefore, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court is being strict with the petitions that deserve the attention of the Hon’ble court and the ones that seek to mislead the court or misuse its precious time during these crisis hours.