A Delhi court, on Thursday, rejected the bail plea of Neelam Azad, one of the six individuals charged in connection with the Parliament security breach on December 13, 2023.
The decision was delivered by Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Court, who had reserved the judgment on Tuesday. The Delhi Police had strongly opposed Azad's bail application, asserting that the available material and documentary evidence clearly establish her involvement in the offense, rendering her unsuitable for release on bail. The police argued that substantial grounds existed against the accused, and given the ongoing investigation, bail should be denied.
Expressing apprehension about the potential impact on the investigating agency if Azad were to be granted bail, the police cited concerns regarding her alleged influence and power. The court considered the nature and gravity of the offense, as well as the severity of potential punishment, as crucial factors in the bail decision.
Azad, who sought immediate release from Delhi Police custody, contended that her arrest was "illegal" and violated Article 22(1) of the Constitution. Alongside three other co-accused, she was apprehended from the Parliament premises on December 13. Azad challenged the legality of the remand order dated December 21, 2023, asserting that she was denied the opportunity to consult a legal practitioner of her choice during the proceedings.
The petitioner further alleged that she was brought before the court after 29 hours, contrary to legal provisions. The plea highlighted a critical error in the court's procedure, asserting that the right guaranteed under Article 22(1) of the Constitution was grossly violated, rendering the remand order unlawful.
Delhi Police informed the court that the accused were considered "hardened criminals" and had consistently changed their statements. An FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been registered, and Sections 16 (terrorism) and 18 (conspiracy for terrorism) of the UAPA have been included in the charges against the accused. The security breach occurred on the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attacks, with two accused entering the Lok Sabha, releasing gas, and raising slogans, while two others sprayed colored gas outside Parliament premises.
(With Agency Inputs)