Delhi violence: Jamia student alleges denial of pvt meeting with counsel, Court allows fresh meeting

Last Updated 26 May 2020, 16:33 IST

A Delhi court has allowed Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university student Asif Iqbal Tanha, booked under the anti-terror law -- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act -- to have fresh legal interviews with his counsel after he claimed that police refused to move out of the room during the meeting held earlier.

He has been booked under the anti-terror law in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana directed the investigating officer to make necessary arrangements for the meetings and render all possible assistance to Tanha’s counsel for an effective legal interview, keeping in mind the right of privileged communication between counsel and her client.

The court had on May 20 allowed his counsel to meet with him during police custody.

The application, moved by advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, said as per the court’s order, she was allowed to have a meeting with Tanha during police custody.

It claimed that although the investigating officer permitted her to conduct the interview but the police refused to move out of the room and denied the opportunity to converse in private with Tanha.

The application sought fresh directions to the police officials to allow her to conduct legal interview with her client Tanha outside hearing of the police officials.

During the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor said that the conversation between client and his counsel is a privileged communication and for effective legal aid and assistance a certain degree of privacy was required for conducting legal interviews.

According to the police, Tanha, a resident of Abul Fazal Enclave in Shaheen Bagh, is a member of the Students Islamic Organization and was part of the Jamia Coordination Committee which spearheaded protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Law.

Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, President of Jamia Alumni Association Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain have also been booked under the anti-terror law in the case.

Tanha, 24, is a third-year student of BA in Persian language and was also recently arrested by the police in a separate case related to riots in the Jamia area in December last year. He was named as an accused in the FIR.

He is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar who had been key organisers of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots, the police had said.

On December 15 last year, protesters torched four public buses and two police vehicles as they clashed with police in New Friends'' Colony near Jamia Millia Islamia during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act, leaving at least 40 people including students, policemen and fire fighters injured.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

(Published 26 May 2020, 16:33 IST)

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