A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, albeit with conditions. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau restrained Azad from visiting Delhi for four weeks and directed him not to hold any dharna till the elections in the national capital, which are scheduled for February 8. The court also granted the relief to Azad on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25,000.
Chandrashekhar Azad has been in jail facing charges of inciting people during an anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid on December 20. Azad's outfit had called for a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 20, without police permission. Other 15 people arrested in the case were granted bail by the court on January 9.
The Delhi court on Wednesday also asked the Delhi Police to escort Azad to his residence in Saharanpur within 24 hours of his release. The court also said that before going to Saharanpur, if Azad wants to go anywhere, including Jama Masjid, till 24 hours, police will escort him there. “We have absolutely no objection to him paying obeisance wherever he wants to while he's here,” the court said.
"These are special circumstances. I do not want any trouble during Delhi elections,” Judge Lau remarked, as per LiveLaw.
During the verdict pronouncement, the lawyer appearing for Azad said the Bhim Army chief faces threat in Uttar Pradesh. The judge stated that Azad will be given necessary protection.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the judge had come down heavily on the public prosecutor representing Delhi Police, judge Kamini Lau pulled up the public prosecutor after he opposed Azad’s bail application and told the court that Azad had posted on social media that he was going to do a dharna at Jama Masjid in Delhi.
"What is wrong with dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one's constitutional right to protest. You are behaving as if Jama Masjid is Pakistan. Even if it was Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India,” Judge Kamini Lau added.