The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the bail granted to JNU research scholars–Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Jamia Milia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha–in the northeast Delhi riots case.

The top court, however, made it clear that the Delhi high court judgments will “not to be treated as precedent by any court” to give similar relief, TOI reported.

A vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian termed as “troubling” that the high court has written 100 pages discussing the entire anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) while deciding the bail applications in the case and said it will require interpretation by the apex court.

“The issue of reading down of anti-terror law UAPA is “important” and can have pan-India ramifications. The way the Act has been interpreted, probably it will require interpretation by the Supreme Court,” the judges said.

The High Court had on June 15 granted bail to student activists Narwal, Kalita and Tanha saying that in anxiety to suppress dissent the State has blurred the line between the right to protest and terrorist activity and if such a mindset gains traction, it would be a “sad day for democracy”.

The high court, in three separate judgments, set aside the trial court’s orders denying bail to student activists and allowed their appeals by admitting them to regular bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each along with two sureties of the like amount.


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