Published: 18th October 2022
Accused Umar Khalid denied bail by Delhi High Court in 2020 riots case
"We do not find any merit in the bail appeal. The bail appeal is dismissed," a Two-judge Bench of the HC said
Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid's bail plea was refused by the Delhi High Court today, October 18. The court stated that the plea had no merit and dismissed it. "We do not find any merit in the bail appeal. The bail appeal is dismissed," a Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar said while pronouncing the order, as per a report by PTI. Khalid is an accused in the February 2020 Delhi riots case and has been in custody for two years.
Khalid sought bail on the grounds that he neither had any "criminal role" in the incident nor a "conspiratorial connect" with any other accused in the case. He submitted that there was no material to support the case against him and his Amravati speech in February 2020, which forms the basis of the allegations against him, not only had a categorical call for non-violence but also did not lead to violence anywhere.
The police, however, opposed the plea in the High Court and stated that the speech delivered by Khalid was "very calculated". The police argued that riots happened in two phases, first in 2019 and then in February 2020, and that misinformation was spread during that time. The police contended that the speeches delivered by the other accused in the case have one common factor, that the "essence was to create a sense of fear in the Muslim population", as per PTI.
The accused, including Khalid, have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being the "masterminds" of the riots. Khalid had appealed for bail at a trial court on March 24, but it was dismissed. Then he appealed to the High Court. It may be noted that earlier in April, the High Court had issued notice to the Delhi Police on Khalid's bail plea. Activist Khalid Saifi, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar and former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain are some of the other accused in the case.