Published on: 10 September 2022 at 21:25 IST
The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order in an appeal filed by student activist Umar Khalid challenging the Trial Court’s order refusing him bail in a case involving UAPA charges alleging a larger conspiracy in the riots of 2020.
Umar Khalid was imprisoned on September 3, 2020 and has been under custody since. He was recently denied bail by the city’s Karkardooma Court on March 24.
Senior Advocate Trideep Pais appearing for Umar Khalid made witty comebacks before a special bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar.
He argued that the prosecution’s argument that Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam’s speeches shared a “common factor,” the essence of which was to instil fear in the country’s Muslim population, as they addressed common issues such as triple talaq, the repeal of Article 370, and the demolition of the Babri Masjid, was incorrect.
He also stated that there was no connection between the 750 FIRs registered in connection with the riots and the FIR in question, alleging a larger conspiracy. He also added that the prosecution witnesses are without any basis , which does not lead “forwards or backwards”.
Further stating that there were no recoveries made from Umar Khalid, no linking of mind shown by the prosecution, and that he was not even present during the violent crime committed.
“The only overt act attributed to me is the speech (Amravati speech) and just one line, “Sadko par utar aaye.” That was heard by many. It was a public event. It never led to violence. In the context of that speech, he raised those issues, which many have raised,” Pais said.
The advocate further added that there was nothing illegal or inciteful about Umar Khalid’s Amravati speech.
He also argued that whether the overall evaluation of the charge sheet shows any linkage of Umar Khalid to the actual violence committed in Delhi or to his role being criminal in any manner, leading to his conviction.
He had contended that these accused were connected at the relevant time as a part of the conspiracy for rioting.
Besides Khalid, activist Khalid Saifi, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.