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"Pattern Of False Implication In Chargesheet, Cooked Up Witnesses": Umar Khalid's Lawyer In Bail Hearing In Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case

Nupur Thapliyal
8 Nov 2021 12:15 PM GMT
Pattern Of False Implication In Chargesheet, Cooked Up Witnesses: Umar Khalids Lawyer In Bail Hearing In Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case
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Seeking bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case involving charges under UAPA, student activist Umar Khalid's lawyer today argued before a Delhi Court that the statements of 'cooked up witnesses' showed a pattern of 'false implication' in the chargesheet as well as FIR 59/2020.Senior Advocate Trideep Pais argued before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that one of...

Seeking bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case involving charges under UAPA, student activist Umar Khalid's lawyer today argued before a Delhi Court that the statements of 'cooked up witnesses' showed a pattern of 'false implication' in the chargesheet as well as FIR 59/2020.

Senior Advocate Trideep Pais argued before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that one of the witness' statements which was recorded three days prior to Umar Khalid's arrest was done in order to "suit the arrest".

Pattern Of False Implication In FIR & Chargesheet, Cooked Up Witnesses: Pais

Pais began by referring to the Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG) to argue that Umar Khalid had merely sent four messages on the group and that no responsibility or role was attributed to him in the said group.

Stating that heavy reliance is placed by the prosecution on a protected witness namely Bravo, Pais submitted that in the four messages Khalid sent on the group, he was either sending location to people of the protest site or was telling others about his absence from the city.

"It's not as if the number of messages will make the crime more or lesser, but the quality of messages will show there is absolutely no role of me," Pais submitted.

Pointing out contradictions in the statements made by Bravo, Pais submitted that there was a delay in recording of his statement by the Police in August while he was part of the DPSG group since December.

"His statement doesn't match the DPSG group. A person who believes DPSG is wrong, gives a statement in August!" submitted Pais.

He added:

"I wanted to say that this witness is an indication of a pattern of false implication in this FIR and chargesheet."

Questioning the credibility of the witness, he added that Bravo had cherry picked names given to the Police.

"Apoorv Anand is not an accused. Devangana and Natasha are accused. Kavita Krishnan is not an accused. Umar Khalid is accused. This is a situation where it's all very convenient. I'm not assigned any sites and I'm behind bars. According to his statements, which I'm saying is not true, people have been assigned sites and they are not accused," Pais added.

No Qualitative Difference Between Others And Me But I'm In Custody: Pais

Further arguing that while roles were attributed to other persons who were members of the DPSG group, Pais submitted that even when there was no qualitative difference between the rest and him, it is him who remains in custody.

"I'm an outsider virtually to the group and I'm in custody. He (witness) is unable to point out a specific activity that I undertook by virtue of which it can be said that I did an illegal act, terrorist act. You get a person in June to get a statement against me and this is the quality of the statement!" Pais argued.
"Their responsibilities are more. Mine are insignificant or none at all. They don't assign me a site. I have sent not more than 4 messages. Whenever Bravo refers to me, he refers to me in capture of other names or doesn't names me at all," he added.

Pais then referred to the statements of another protected witness namely Sierra, the person who used to give tea to the meetings. Pais argued that no other witness apart from him claimed that the meeting was a secret meeting and that all witnesses in the chargesheet stand at variance with each other.

Pointing out the allegation of Umar Khalid being the master mind and silent whisperer in the chargesheet, Pais submitted thus:

"If I'm instructing people for the conspiracy, if you didn't have statements like this, you wouldn't have implicated me. I speak in front of a chai wala and spill the entire beans of the conspiracy!! How would a person who is the master mind speaks in front of a chai wala and he (chai wala) waits till the violence is over to give the statement. Completely cooked up witness. He doesn't go and find them (police), they find him. He is summoned and then he says all this!"
"Clearly these statements are written by someone else and given to them. So you call them in the police station and say we want to implicate this person. And this person has no 164 CrPC statement. The chai wala miraculously knows names of the people who are not even there. And most vicious language is used because you want to implicate them. Because once you cook up a statement, you can say anything."

Pais also referred to the statement of another protected witness namely Smith and argued that his Section 164 CrPC statement was recorded three days prior to Umar Khalid's arrest in order to "suit the arrest".

"Your honour sees the similarities? When they failed to get a sec. 164 CrPC statement of Sierra, they go to Smith. He doesn't say it was a secret meeting. Reference to Umar Khalid is presence in a meeting, nothing beyond that. He doesn't call it a secret meeting or a secret office. He is your witness and he goes before the Magistrate. So the secret meeting theory is demolished by this witness. He himself says he is a protestor," Pais argued.

During the previous course of hearing, Pais had argued that while the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act were secular, it is the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police which is communal.

Earlier, Pais had argued that the entire charge-sheet in FIR 59/2020 is a fertile imagination of Delhi Police having no sense of consistency.

He had also argued that the chargesheet read like a script of Amazon Prime show 'Family Man', having no evidence to support the allegations.

Pais had also argued that the chargesheet makes rhetorical allegations against Khalid, terming him the "veteran of sedition" without any factual basis. The hyperbolic allegations in the chargesheet "reads like a 9 PM new script of one of those shouting news-channels", the lawyer argued.

Umar Khalid had also told the Court that the entire chargesheet is a fabrication and that the case against him is based on the video clips run by Republic TV and News 18 showing a truncated version of his speech.

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, main chargesheet 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 chargesheet 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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