3 months after arrest, Bengaluru student Amulya gets bail in sedition case

Amulya is expected to walk out of the Parappana Agrahara jail on Friday.
Amulya Leona
Amulya Leona

Amulya Leona Noronha, the college student who was booked for sedition case for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” in a protest was granted bail, three months after she was arrested and jailed. 

She was granted bail by the 5th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court under Section 167(2) of the CrPC on June 10. According to Amulya’s lawyers, the section stipulates a time period in which the charge sheet has to be filed (60-90 days), and on the 91st day, the accused is entitled to bail. 

Speaking to TNM, R Prasanna, a part of the team of lawyers arguing the case, said, “Earlier, the bail that was applied for under Section 439 of the CrPC was rejected by the sessions court. So, on Wednesday, we had approached the 5th ACMM court with a different application seeking default bail under Se 167(2). Default bail was granted on Thursday. Formalities are done, we expect her to be released on Friday.” Section 439 is what is generally used to apply for bail for an accused, and it lays down the special powers of a high court or sessions court to grant bail. 

The bail was granted against a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh, and on the condition that she cannot influence witnesses or obstruct investigation or commit a similar offense again. 

Amulya is expected to walk out of the Parappana Agrahara jail on Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday, a sessions court had rejected the bail plea of the 19-year-old student and activist saying that she “may abscond” if she is released, and “may involve [herself] in a similar offence which affects peace at large”.

Amulya is a student of journalism and English. She was arrested in February after she said “Pakistan Zindabad” thrice during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bengaluru. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi was the chief guest at the protest. She then said “Hindustan Zindabad,” and tried to make a point, but she was not allowed to do so, the microphone was grabbed away from her and she was whisked off the stage.

She was charged under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups and imputations) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the Indian Penal Code. The Karnataka government, in its submissions in court opposing bail for Amulya, had stated that she “may threaten and influence the witnesses and hamper the case of the prosecution."

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