Published: 06th May 2022
Delhi High Court will hear bail plea by former JNU student Umar Khalid on May 19
Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and many others have been booked under the anti-terror law in the UAPA case for being "masterminds" of the Delhi riots
May 19 — this is the day the hearing of the bail plea of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid has been listed for by the Delhi High Court. This is for bail in a UAPA case related to alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi riots in February 2020. The court permitted him and the prosecution to place, on record, all the relevant documents required for effective adjudication.
"Re-notify for further hearing on May 19. In the meantime parties are at liberty to place on record all documents that may be relevant for effective adjudication of appeal within one week," said the court, while dealing with Khalid's appeal against the rejection of his bail plea by the trial court.
On the bail plea in the same case by activist Sharjeel Imam, a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar also adjourned the hearing till May 24.
Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and many others have been booked under the anti-terror law in the UAPA case for being "masterminds" of the Delhi riots. The riots had left over 53 people dead and over 700 injured, stated a report in PTI.
It was during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that the violence had erupted. The bail petitions by Khalid and Imam were dismissed by the trial court on March 24 and April 11, respectively.
Khalid argued in his bail plea that the speech, which forms the very basis of the allegations against him, did not call for violence, nor was it contemporaneously uploaded on YouTube, it wasn't widely circulated and that the allegation of commission of offence of section 124A (sedition) IPC or any reaction in Delhi on account of the speech was "unfounded, unlikely and more than remote".
It was the argument of Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, who was representing Delhi Police, that the narratives sought to be created by the former student leader cannot be looked into his defence at this stage and it was by a well-reasoned order that the trial court refused to release him. The order suffers no illegality.
Before this, while granting time to the Delhi Police to respond to the bail plea, the court opined that the speech of Khalid was obnoxious, prima facie not acceptable and that certain statements in the speech were "offensive per se".
Besides Khalid and Imam, activist Khalid Saifi, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.