Delhi riots 2020: HC fixes bail hearing of Umar Khalid on May 19
The Delhi High Court on Friday listed for hearing on May 19 a plea by former JNU student Umar Khalid for bail in a UAPA case related to alleged conspiracy behind the riots here in February 2020 and allowed him as well as the prosecution to place on record all documents relevant for effective adjudication.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar also adjourned hearing till May 24 on the bail plea by Sharjeel Imam in the same case.
Re-notify for further hearing on May 19. In the meantime parties are at liberty to place on record all documents that may be relevant for effective adjudication of appeal within one week, said the court while dealing with Khalid's appeal against the rejection of his bail plea by the trial court.
Khalid, Imam and several others have been booked under the anti-terror law in the UAPA case for being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.
The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
The trial court had dismissed the bail petitions by Khalid and Imam on March 24 and April 11, respectively.
Khalid has argued in his bail plea that his speech, which forms the basis for the allegations against him, did not call for violence, was not contemporaneously uploaded on YouTube, was not widely circulated and that the allegation of commission of offence of section 124A (sedition) IPC or any reaction in Delhi on account of the speech was unfounded, unlikely and more than remote .
The Delhi Police, represented by Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, has opposed the bail plea, saying the narratives sought to be created by Khalid cannot be looked into as his defence at this stage and the trial court refused to release him by a well-reasoned order which suffers from no illegality.
Earlier, while granting time to the Delhi Police to respond to the bail plea, the court had opined that Khalid's speech was obnoxious, prima facie not acceptable and that certain statements in the speech were "offensive per se".
Imam, who is accused of making inflammatory speeches against the government, has sought his release on grounds that in absence of any admissible material, the trial court wrongly found him to a part of the conspiracy to cause riots and there is no prima facie case against him for commission of any 'terrorist act' under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Besides Khalid and Imam, 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.