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Delhi Riots | "Chargesheet Contains Random Allegations Without Any Basis": Umar Khalid To Court In Bail Hearing

Nupur Thapliyal
18 Feb 2022 12:54 PM GMT
Delhi Riots | Chargesheet Contains Random Allegations Without Any Basis: Umar Khalid To Court In Bail Hearing
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Making rebuttal arguments in the bail plea moved by student activist Umar Khalid, his lawyer today argued before a Delhi Court that the chargesheet in Delhi riots larger conspiracy case contained random allegations against him without any basis to support the same. Rebutting various allegations made by the prosecution against Khalid, Senior Advocate Trideep Pais told Additional Sessions...

Making rebuttal arguments in the bail plea moved by student activist Umar Khalid, his lawyer today argued before a Delhi Court that the chargesheet in Delhi riots larger conspiracy case contained random allegations against him without any basis to support the same.

Rebutting various allegations made by the prosecution against Khalid, Senior Advocate Trideep Pais told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that most of the allegations in the chargesheet were not illegal per se.

"Per se they are not illegal. Meeting someone in Jamia per se is not illegal. Going to Jamia per se is not illegal. WhatsApp group chat per se is not illegal," he argued.

Pais addressed allegations made by the prosecution regarding Umar Khalid attending various meetings. He argued "Assertion without a witness to support it. Pure imagination of the prosecution."

Referring to an allegation of Umar Khalid introducing Sharjeel Imam with Yogendra Yadav in December, 2019, Pais argued that there was no witness or a message to prove the same.

On the allegation of Umar Khalid attending a meeting regarding conspiracy to plan the riots, Pais submitted "He is present at the meeting. There is no criminality of attending meeting per se. Several other people who attended the meeting are not accused."

Furthermore, Pais also rebutted the allegation wherein it was alleged that on December 10, 2019, Khalid had attended a protest against Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC.

"It is alleged that there is a protest. I don't know what is the criminality in attending a protest," he argued at the outset.

Pais also argued that the prosecution had failed to address the loopholes and contradictions pointed out by him qua the statements of a protected witness namely Bond, who the defence claimed was not reliable.

Pais argued that the Special Public Prosecutor did not deal with fact that there was no violence attributed by the said witness regarding the meeting in question.

"Assuming that he visited Jamia, there is no criminality in visiting Jamia. No allegations of violence or rioting attributed to me. Nadeem Khan is not even arrested if he had gone with me. Some are in custody, others are not. This completely baffles the mind," Pais argued.

He added "Investigation is ongoing is not an answer. You can't constantly say it's Umar, Nadeem and x and y and yes we are investigating. You have not been able to show the qualitative difference between me vis a vis their actions."

Pais also argued that the prosecution had selectively chosen between the people to suit their case while dropping other persons who formed the part of DPSG WhatsApp group.

"You make an allegation and you can't make it good. It shows the allegations are false. You choose to emphasize on one person, it doesn't make sense. It shows malice," Pais argued.

He added "What seems to be happening is you first want to make a story and then you want to look for evidence to complete the story."

"To the extent you can find James, Bond and witnesses who are as unbelievable as possible when you read their statements. You make these random allegations here. Absolutely no basis. At this rate you can write anything in the chargesheet."

Pais also argued on the allegation of the prosecution regarding a meeting between Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi and Umar Khalid at PFI Office days before the then US President Donald Trump's visit to India.

Arguing that the allegation was an assertion with the most loopholes in the Chargesheet, Pais argued:

"They rely on one witness who gives four statements, two in this case, two in another. All in contradiction with each other. This statement has been discredited by a coordinate court."

Pais added that the Chargesheet sought to call it a secret meeting at a secret office while none of the witnesses said so except a 'chai wala'.

"Gama (protected witness) doesn't even say that on night of 23rd and 24th, there was a meeting. He doesn't refer to Umar in his sec. 161 CrPC statement. But in his sec. 164 CrPC, he comes up with the meeting and Umar. In his sec. 164 CrPC statement, he says it is a provocative speech...," Pais argued.

He added "In this case the chargesheet doesn't say it's provocative speech. But witness says it's provocative. This goes back to my question, you first write a story. Then you say, how can I support it."

"It is not like I am not on your radar. I am on bail. You are following my movements. Media is reporting every speech made by me. A Police officer has my number and also calls me. Where is the question of making these bare statements that I was silently making a conspiracy? It doesn't make sense."

The matter will now be heard tomorrow.

The FIR against Khalid contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984. He is also charged of various offences mentioned under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

In September last year, the main charge sheet was filed against Pinjara Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and student activist Gulfisha Fatima.

Others who were charge-sheeted included former Congress Councilor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik, Mohd Salim Khan and Athar Khan.

Thereafter, a supplementary charge-sheet was filed in November against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a case related to the alleged larger conspiracy in the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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