Published on: April 22, 2022 at 22:22 IST
The Delhi High Court issued Notice in the Appeal filed by Umar Khalid against a Trial Court Order which Denied him Bail in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) Case Registered against him in connection with the Delhi Riots of February 2020.
The Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar observed that it found Khalid’s Speech delivered at Amravati was “obnoxious and inciteful.”
The Court asked what Charges were filed against him, the Counsel replied that the Charges were not yet framed.
“So, what are you accused of?” asked the Bench.
“There is just one Speech. The Police went to TV channels requesting for that Speech. Channels tell them that they received it from a politician…Special Court didn’t even give a finding that this Speech is Provocative.”
“These expressions being used, don’t you think they incite people? You don’t think “jab aapke purvaj angrezo ki dalali kar rahe the” (when your ancestors were slaves of the British) is offensive?
It gives the impression that only one community was fighting against the British. Did Gandhiji ever employ such language? Did Bhagat Singh ever employ this? Is this what Gandhiji told us?”
The Bench also asked whether the Freedom of Speech could extend to such Statements.
“We are not surprised that the First Information Report is premised on this part of the Speech…Prima facie this is not acceptable. This is not acceptable in four corners of Democracy and Free Speech.” The Bench said.
Petitioner then argued,
“If this is Obnoxious Speech, so be it. That is not why I am here. I am here on allegations of terror.”
The Bench went on to Issue Notice in the Appeal against the Order Rejecting Bail.
The Court adjourned the matter till April 27.