Court turns down Umar Khalid’s bail plea in 2020 riots case

Prasad contended that the bail judgments for Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, and Natasha Narwal should not set a precedent.
Activist Umar Khalid
Activist Umar Khalid FILE Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: A city court on Tuesday denied bail to Umar Khalid, a former JNU student leader, accused in the 2020 northeast Delhi riots “larger conspiracy” case.

Khalid, charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, argued before additional sessions judge Sameer Bajpai that the other accused facing more serious allegations had already been granted bail. Besides, some individuals allegedly involved in similar activities were not even named by the police.

Taking note of the submissions of the special public prosecutor Amit Prasad, the court said there was “no delay in framing of charge and commencement of the trial by Delhi Police.”

“Thus when the delay in the proceedings is not on the part of the prosecution and, in fact, is on the part of the accused, the applicant cannot take benefit of the same,” it said

Prasad contended that the bail judgments for Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, and Natasha Narwal should not set a precedent.

“Every other accused cannot be entitled to parity,” he said. “People on bail are stalling the trial so that people in custody can take benefits of delay,” he added.

Khalid’s advocate, Trideep Pais, argued that no witness statements cited by the prosecution justified a terrorism charge against Khalid.

“The accused has not committed any terrorist act… There is not a single seizure from him.” Pais said.

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