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The Supreme Court declined to intervene in the Karnataka High Court’s decision to uphold the denial of bail for some of the accused in the 2020 Bengaluru riots case. The appeal was heard by Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath, who refused to interfere with the High Court’s ruling that supported a special court’s rejection of their bail pleas.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing one of the accused, argued that his client was falsely implicated and that his name was added to the case after the National Investigation Agency took over the investigation and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was invoked against the accused.

Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, representing five other accused, stated that the investigation against them had been completed and they had been in custody for the past 16 months. The High Court, in dismissing their appeal against the special court’s decision, stated that “even if the act is likely to cause terror, the absence of intent to cause terror will not make the invocation of relevant UAPA provisions unjustified.”

The High Court further explained that the role of the accused had been established through prosecution witnesses, statements of protected witnesses, documentary/electronic evidence, and call detail records (CDRs) of mobile numbers used by the accused. The appellants, with a common intention, were part of an unlawful assembly with the objective of committing a terrorist act and causing destruction of public and private properties. They disobeyed orders issued under the CrPC and attacked police personnel on duty at the relevant date, time, and place of the incident, with the purpose of causing harm and destruction to the police station.

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