New Delhi: A court slammed Delhi Police on Tuesday for failing to show any evidence against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, observing that people are out on the streets because things which should have been said inside Parliament were not said.
Delhi Police was behaving as if Jama Masjid was Pakistan, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said, adding that even if it was, one can protest there peacefully.
Pakistan was once part of undivided India, she said.
The court's observations came while hearing bail plea of Azad, who was arrested in a case related to anti-CAA ptotests in old Delhi's Daryaganj area.
"Inside the Parliament, things which should have been said, were not said and that is why people are out on the streets. We have full right to express our views but we cannot destroy our country.
"You are behaving as if Jama Masjid was Pakistan and even if it was Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India," the judge said.
The court asked the investigating officer of the police to put on record all the evidence which showed that Azad was allegedly giving incriminatory speeches at the gathering at Jama Masjid and any law which showed that the gathering there was unconstitutional.
It has put up the matter for further hearing on Wednesday. During the hearing, police told the court they have only drone images of the gathering as evidence and no other recording.
To this, the judge said, "Do you think Delhi police is so backward that it has no tools to record anything?
"Show me anything or any law that prohibits such gathering... Where is the violence? Who says you cannot protest...have you read the Constitution. It is one's Constitutional right to protest."
The court further observed that Azad, having a law degree, can also protest inside the courts. It noted that Azad's Ambedkarite philosophy probably required more research.
"Azad is probably an Ambedkarite. Ambedkar was more closer to the Muslims, Sikhs and basically the repressed class of the society... He was a rebel of his own kind. Probably Azad has a vague idea of what he wants to say but probably not able to put it across. If you take up an issue, you do your research. And that is missing, " the court said.
The plea, filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha, claimed that there was no evidence against the allegations made against Azad in the FIR and his arrest was illegal.
Azad's outfit had called for a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended Citizenship Act on December 20, without police permission.
Other 15 people arrested in the case were granted bail by the court on January 9.
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the government is deliberating on what should be the minimum age of marriage for women and has set up a committee to look into the matter.
Addressing the nation on India's 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi covered a range of issues related to women, including their role in the armed forces, economic empowerment, the effort to recruit them in the NCC and the government's scheme to provide sanitary napkins at Re 1.
We have set up a committee to deliberate on the minimum age for marriage of our daughters. We will take appropriate decisions after the committee submits its report, he said.
The minimum age of marriage for women is 18 years and 21 for men.
Discussing the role of women in the forces, the prime minister said India is among the countries of the world where women are involved in combat roles in the Navy and the Air Force.
He added that women could comprise one-third of the one lakh new NCC cadets who will be given special training.
"We are expanding NCC in border areas; special training will be provided to about one lakh new NCC cadets, out of which we will try that one-third of them are our daughters," he said.
On the economic empowerment of women, Prime Minister Modi said 22 crore of the 40 crore jan dhan accounts are of women and about Rs 30,000 crore have been deposited in their accounts during the pandemic.
"Out of Mudra loans worth Rs 25 crore, 70 per cent of them have been taken by our mothers and sisters. Under the Pradhan Matri Awaas Yojna, most registrations are under the name of women," he added.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra scheme, the prime minister said, the government has started giving away sanitary napkins at Re 1 to empower women and also to keep their health in check.
In 6,000 Jan Aushadi Kendras, more than five crore sanitary napkins have been provided to women in a short period of time, he said. Modi also said his government is determined to provide equal employment opportunities to women.
Whenever women have been given an opportunity, they have made India proud and strengthened the country. Today, the nation is determined to provide equal opportunities for self-employment and employment to them, Modi said.
Today, women are working in underground coal mines as well as touching the sky while flying fighter planes, he noted.