Stating that 39 deliveries have taken place in Delhi’s Tihar Jail in the last 10 years, Delhi Police have maintained that pregnancy is no ground to give bail to Jamia Coordination Committee member Safoora Zargar.
Zargar was arrested on April 10 in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Charges under anti-terror law, UAPA, have been invoked against the Jamia Millia Islamia M.Phil student who is more than four months pregnant.
Submitting its status report in the Delhi High Court, Delhi Police maintained that her pregnancy does not dilute the gravity of her alleged crime and that she is being given adequate medical care in the jail.
“There is no exception carved out for pregnant inmate, who is accused of such heinous crime, to be released on bail merely because of pregnancy. To the contrary, the law provides for adequate safeguards and medical attention during their custody in jail,” stated the report submitted in the court by Delhi Police.
It added there have been enough precedents to show not only arrest and detention of pregnant women but also their deliveries in jails, for which guidelines have been laid out in law according to the Supreme Court’s directions.
“It is respectfully submitted that till date 39 deliveries have taken place in Delhi prison in last 10 years,” said the report, adding Zargar is not entitled to any “preferential treatment” when the law itself permits such kind of sanctions against a certain class of offenders.
The report by Special Cell DCP PS Kushwaha stated that “the very fact of rearing of life ought to have been a check on activities (by Zargar) which had a potential to cause, and which did in fact cause large-scale destruction of life and properties”.
Delhi Police said that Zargar is lodged in a separate cell, all alone, and is being attended to regularly by doctors, apart from being given a good diet and required medicines.
“In fact, more care and caution are being practised in jail so far as social distancing norms are concerned that would be available to her outside the jail premises,” said the report, strongly resisting her release on bail.
About the FIR in question, the report said that there are enough electronic and other evidence to demonstrate Zargar’s role and her complicity in a “sinister design” to create unrest by flaring up communal tension with the ultimate objective of uprooting a democratically elected government by using violent and illegal means.
She gave provocative speeches, appealed for sit-in protesters and other kinds of demonstrations to promote the feeling of enmity, hatred and ill-will among different communities to cause disharmony and pressurise the Central government to withdraw CAA and NRC.
Zargar’s bail plea was earlier dismissed by a trial court on June 4, compelling her to move the High Court.