Delhi HC lifts stay on Delhi Riots trial; lower Court directs assurance of safety of accused

Sushree Mohanty

The Delhi High Court has lifted its stay order in the preliminary trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for a matter identified with violence in north-east Delhi. The said order came in the wake of an application submitted by the Delhi government which stated that the individuals charged for the case can gather copies of the charge sheet. Earlier, the High Court had passed a stay order after the Delhi Police had recorded a plea against a trial court’s request ordering for presenting the hard copies of the charge sheets to the charged individual.

The present judgment viably implies that accused for the matter, including Jawaharlal Nehru University student wings head Umar Khalid, Aligarh Muslim University student leader Sharjeel Imam, Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and Aam Aadmi Party councilor Tahir Hussain will face trials under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A Trial court of Delhi had communicated its disappointment in the manner that the charged persons were not allowed a specific time frame for perusing the charge sheet, despite the notice for the same.

The courts have additionally communicated their concern over spilling of the content of the charge sheet, prompting “media trials”, even as the charges were not furnished with duplicates for the similar. Consequent to the Delhi High Court passed orders to prepare for the trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The trial court issued notice to the Tihar Jail Superintendent and officials to take precautionary steps to increase the protection for Khalid and other charged individuals. Additional Sessions Judge Naveen Gupta gave the headings after Khalid moved an urgent
application in the case. The accused will be produced physically in the court for trials under the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act. A primary charge sheet was recorded in September against Kalita, Narwal, and Hussain.

Others named in the charge sheet were Jamia Millia Islamia understudy Asif Iqbal Tanha, and understudy extremist Gulfisha Fatima, Congress councilor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee individuals, and a few others. A second charge sheet was then recorded in November against Khalid and Imam.

Conflicts broke out between the allies of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those restricting it in the North East Delhi area, which resulted in the death of around 53 individuals and injuring several people. The police were blamed for incapability to control the riots, especially in the Muslim- dominated areas.

The Delhi Police has asserted that the riot was a part of a bigger connivance to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration and was arranged by the individuals who coordinated the riots against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

They likewise stated that the protesters had alternate motives and were utilizing “the veneer of civil defiance” to destabilize the public authority. The police have detained a few activists and students on charges of “conspiracy” and the trials of such individuals are underway.

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