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Parliament Security Breach: Delhi High Court refuses urgent hearing of Neelam Azad plea for release from custody
Dec 28, 2023 02:53 pm

Neelam Azad, accused in the Parliament security breach case has filed a habeas corpus plea in the Delhi High Court seeking immediate release from police custody. In her plea, Azad has challenged the legality of the trial court order dated December 21 remanding her to police custody. She has said she was not allowed to consult the legal practitioners of her choice to defend her during the remand proceedings. “In fact, it was only after the disposal of the remand application that she was asked by the Ld. Court if she wanted to be represented by an advocate of her choice which she replied in affirmative and an order was passed permitting the petitioner to consult her advocate,” Azad stated in her plea. She said that on December 14, she was produced before the court for the first time, after spending 29 hours in police custody.  Admittedly, she was not permitted by the respondent (Delhi Police) to consult an advocate of her choice. Rather upon arrival at the court an advocate associated with DLSA [Delhi Legal Services Authority] already present in the court was appointed as she did not have legal representation. It is apt to mention here that she and her co-accused were not given any option with regards to their legal representation. Nor were they provided with any information about the appointed counsel that might have any impact on their decision. Further, the petitioner was not given the opportunity to discuss the circumstances of her arrest with the DLSA advocate,” the plea states. It is further contended that the denial of the legal representation of her choice was in violation of her rights under Article 22(1) of the Constitution. Azad was arrested by the Delhi Police on December 13 along with three other accused - Sagar Sharma, Manoranjan D and Amol Shinde.