Khalid’s bail hearing adjourned in SC

Ex-JNU student leader’s case in connection to city riots will be heard on Jan 24, says top court
Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid. (File photo | PTI)
Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid. (File photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing to January 24 on the bail plea filed by former JNU student Umar Khalid in connection with the February 2020 communal violence in the national capital.Khalid has been in jail since his arrest by the Delhi Police on September 14, 2020, and booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) over his alleged involvement in a larger conspiracy behind the Delhi riots case. He had denied the charges and claimed innocence.

The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.A two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Bela M Trivedi, also comprising Justice Pankaj Mithal, adjourned the matter after apprised by Kapil Sibal, the senior lawyer representing Khalid, that he couldn’t argue the case on Wednesday as he was busy in a case heard by constitution bench and urged the court to assign another date.

The prosecutor appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the probe agency requested the top court to accommodate another date to hear the case as Additional Solicitor General SV Raju was unavailable for the hearing on Wednesday.“A request has been made on behalf of the petitioners and respondents to adjourn the case as they are busy in other cases. The next hearing is on January 24. No further time will be granted once for and all,” the bench ruled.

The apex court remarked that the impression was going out that the court was not hearing the case, which is not true.Supreme Court judge Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra had on August 9 recused himself from hearing Khalid’s plea.Khalid’s petition challenging the October 18, 2022 order of the Delhi High Court, which had rejected his bail plea in the matter, had come up for hearing before a bench of Justices A S Bopanna and Mishra.

The high court had rejected Khalid’s bail plea, saying he was in constant touch with other co-accused and the allegations against him were prima facie true.The high court had also said the actions of the accused prima facie qualified as a “terrorist act” under the UAPA act.The Delhi Police had opposed Khalid’s bail plea in the high court, saying the speech delivered by him was “very calculated” and he brought up contentious issues like Babri Masjid, triple talaq, Kashmir, alleged suppression of Muslims and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The charges

Umar Khalid has been in jail since his arrest by Delhi Police on September 14, 2020, and booked under the stringent UAPA Act over his alleged involvement in a larger conspiracy behind the riots case. He had denied the charges and claimed innocence. The high court had rejected his bail, saying that he was in touch with other accused and the allegations against him were prima facie true.

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