The Delhi High Court granted interim bail to activist Natasha Narwal for three weeks on Monday so that she could perform her father's last rites. Mahavir Narwal, her father died due to on Sunday after he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak in Haryana.
Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J. Bhambhani noted that there was no one else in the family who could conduct the cremation and last rites and that her father's body was waiting in the hospital to be accepted. Aakash, her brother, is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
"In view of the circumstances elaborated here, and in the interest of justice, we are of the view that the release of the applicant is imperative in this hour of grief and personal loss and in the facts and circumstances of the case," the Delhi high court bench noted as reported by Live Law.
The bail application was not met with resistance by the Delhi police. Natasha, on the other hand, has been ordered to provide a personal bond in the sum of ₹50,000 to the satisfaction of the jail superintendent, as well as her phone number to the SHO special cell of the Delhi Police and the Rohtak Police, under whose jurisdiction Mahavir Narwal's last rites will be performed.
The order in her petition for regular bail has been reserved since April 27.
Natasha was also told not to "tweet anything" and to keep a radio silence during her interim relief.
In May of last year, the Pinjra Tod activist and JNU student was charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for her alleged role in inciting large-scale communal violence in Delhi in February. Devangana Kalita, another activist, was also detained.
On January 8, a Delhi court had rejected Natasha's bail application in the UAPA case observing that there was "no gainsaying the fact that all citizens of the country under the Constitution have the right and freedom to protest, including the right to oppose any legislation, however, it is not an absolute right but subject to reasonable restrictions.
Natasha had previously filed a bail application claiming that her elderly father was hospitalised and Covid positive and that she had no one to care for him because his brother had also tested positive and was in isolation.