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SC grants interim bail to activists jailed for 'disrupting' Araria gangrape case proceedings

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New Delhi | August 4, 2020 4:11:58 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to two social activists, who were sent to jail by a magistrate court for allegedly disrupting proceedings in the Araria gangrape case.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while granting interim bail to Tanmay Nivedita and Kalyani Badola, members of non-profit organisation Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, also issued notice to the Bihar government.

The bench observed that it is a "totally impermissible" order by which they were sent to jail.

In their petition before the apex court, the duo contended that they have been in custody since July 10, 2020, and was sent into custody while providing support to a gangrape survivor when she was explaining her traumatised situation to the judicial magistrate.

"The gang rape survivor in her anguished state had expressed uncertainty and anxiety which was misunderstood by the magistrate and he expressed anger and took offence at the victim and the Petitioners/ support persons during proceedings under Section 164 Code of Criminal Procedure," the plea said.

It said that the two have now suffered incarceration for over twenty days, and who are without redress since hearings in all courts have been suspended in Bihar, including hearing in urgent matters, in the face of a severe outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petitioners have no criminal antecedents and are persons with deep roots in society, it submitted.

A 22-year-old gangrape survivor and her two primary caregivers were arrested last month after Araria magistrate found them in contempt for allegedly breaking into a verbal argument with the magistrate while recording the victim's statement.

The magistrate court had later granted bail to the survivor, however, the bail pleas of the two caregivers were rejected. The two had approached the top court thereafter. (ANI)

 
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