Amulya Leona, a young woman who was charged with sedition for raising "Pakistan zindabad" slogans in Bengaluru, has been granted bail. The court had denied her bail on Wednesday, saying she might abscond. But her lawyers had been pursuing another way of getting her out of jail where she has spent nearly four months.
Ms Leona's advocate, Prasanna R, told NDTV that the delay of the state in submitting a chargesheet in the case beyond the stipulated time meant she was eligible for "default bail".
"The default bail application was moved before the magistrate under whose jurisdiction the alleged crime was committed. The chargesheet has not been submitted by the state within 90 days. So default bail has been granted. We had moved the default bail plea on May 26 and again on May 29 when the court told us the earlier mail IDs had been disabled. A physical application was filed on June 2. The state filed the chargesheet on June 3," the lawyer said.
As part of her bail conditions, Ms Leona has to pay a surety of Rs 1 lakh and a personal bond of the same amount.
"Learned magistrate, after considering the application of Amulya, has granted bail as the police had failed to file the investigation chargesheet by May 20. They filed the chargesheet only on June 3. On that ground, the application has been allowed. The conditons have been placed that she should furnish a surety for a sum of Rs 1 lakh and she has to execute a bond for the like sum. On these grounds, Amulya Leona has been granted bail," advocate BT Venkatesh said.
While the state tried to argue that they were entitled to an extension in the time allotted, the court hearing this aspect of the case gave an order favourable to Ms Leona. The process is on to release her.
The arrest of Ms Leona during a rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA in Bengaluru had led to a debate on the use of sedition charges.
The woman on a Facebook post had also said "zindabad" to many countries including India and Pakistan. She did also try to chant "Hindustan zindabad", but was soon silenced and whisked away.
She was accused of sedition, causing enmity between communities and causing deliberate mischief.