The Magistrate Court has finally granted default bail to Amulya Leona who the police had arrested on 20th February on charges of sedition. The Magistrate granted her bail on grounds of failure of the I.O. to submit chargesheet within the stipulated 90-day duration. The Court is likely to release the college student after keeping her behind bars for over three months. Advocate BT Venkatesh and Advocate R Prasanna represented the accused.
Bail: Rule or Exception?
The police arrested 19 year old Amulya, for her pro-Pakistan slogans, during the anti-CAA protests on charges of sedition. She has been custody ever since. She was charged under sections 124-A, 153 (A), 153-B, 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code, 1872. However, as per Section 167(2) of the CrPC, 1973 the chargesheet had not been submitted to the Court within 90 days of such arrest. According to the section, the Court stands bound to grant bail; if the IO is yet to submit the chargesheet after the expiry of the 90-days period; except in certain cases. Bail is the rule, denial of bail is an exception.
However, the Session’s Court rejected Amulya’s bail application citing reasons that she might abscond. The Court was concerned that she might involve herself in similar offences. Furthermore, the police had not finished investigating her, making her presence mandatory. However, the Sessions Court did note that there was no evidence to declare Pakistan as an Enemy State. But her statements may have hurt public sentiments and disrupt law and order.
Although the 90-day period expired on 20th May, due to the lockdown, her lawyers failed to file the application since the Trial Courts weren’t functioning. Her advocates approached the Court on 2nd June; following which it passed an order on 10th June 2020. The Sessions Court rejected her bail application on the same day.