18 May 2023 6:22 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Delhi Police in the bail plea of JNU student activist Umar Khalid, who has been booked under the UAPA for his alleged involvement in the larger conspiracy surrounding the communal violence that broke out in February 2020 in the Indian capital. Khalid has been behind bars since September 2020, awaiting his trial. A...
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Delhi Police in the bail plea of JNU student activist Umar Khalid, who has been booked under the UAPA for his alleged involvement in the larger conspiracy surrounding the communal violence that broke out in February 2020 in the Indian capital. Khalid has been behind bars since September 2020, awaiting his trial.
A bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli was considering Khalid’s plea challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court to deny him bail last year. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Khalid before the apex court today.
Last year, in October, the Delhi High Court had upheld the March 2022 order of the trial court which denied him bail. A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar observed that the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) were geared towards the 2020 North-East Delhi riots through various "conspiratorial meetings" held from December 2019 till February 2020, some of which were also attended by Khalid.
In the order, the High Court also took serious view of Khalid using the words "inquilabli salam" (revolutionary salute) and "krantikari istiqbal" (revolutionary welcome) in a speech given in Amaravati in February 2020 and considered it to be an inciting speech.
"Revolution by itself isn't always bloodless, which is why it is contradistinctly used with the prefix - a 'bloodless' revolution. So, when we use the expression 'revolution', it is not necessarily bloodless," said the court. During the hearing of the case, the High Court had also questioned Khalid for using the word "jumla" against the Prime Minister and commented that there should be a "lakshman rekha" for criticism.
Two weeks back, another bench of the Supreme Court had dismissed the challenge made by the Delhi Police against the High Court order granting bail to co-accused in the case Asif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, who are also student leaders.
Khalid, a scholar and researcher from Jawaharlal Nehru University, is one of the accused in the larger conspiracy case relating to the 2020 North-East Delhi communal riots case. He has been accused along with 59 others, including Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, and student activist Gulfisha Fatima.
Others who have been charge-sheeted in the case include former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Mohd Salim Khan, and Athar Khan.
Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam were the last to be charge sheeted in the case. Zargar, Kalita, Narwal, Tanha, and Jahan have already been granted bail. Kalita, Narwhal and Tanha were granted bail by a division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani last year.
Khalid has been booked under Sections 13, 16, 17, and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, 1959 and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.
Umar Khalid v. State of NCT of Delhi | Diary No. 14476 of 2023
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