Justice P K Mishra, a Supreme Court judge, has decided to recuse himself from presiding over the bail petition of Umar Khalid, a former student leader at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The petition is related to a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and is connected to the Delhi riots that occurred in February 2020.
Justice A S Bopanna, the lead judge on the division bench, has referred the case back to the Chief Justice of India. The purpose of this referral is to have the case listed before another bench of the Supreme Court on 17 August.
Kapil Sibal, a senior advocate representing Khalid, has been emphasising in court that his client has been incarcerated for more than two years. He argues that a hearing on Khalid's plea for personal liberty should not be delayed further, as reported by The Hindu.
Khalid stands accused of being involved in a "larger conspiracy" behind the communal violence that took place during the Delhi riots.
In October of last year, Khalid's request for bail was denied by the Delhi High Court. The court stated that he was in constant communication with other co-accused individuals and that the allegations against him appeared to be true.
The High Court determined that the actions of the accused could be classified as a "terrorist act" under the UAPA. It further stated that the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had escalated into violent riots, which seemed to have been orchestrated during conspiratorial meetings.
The court also noted that witness statements indicated Khalid's active involvement in the protests.
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