Supreme Court Sets 24 July As Hearing Date For Umar Khalid's Bail Plea In Riot Case

Swarajya Staff

Jul 12, 2023, 03:23 PM | Updated 03:25 PM IST

Delhi Police officials with Umar Khalid (via Getty Images)
Delhi Police officials with Umar Khalid (via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the plea of former JNU student Umar Khalid seeking bail in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case on 24 July.

The case is related to the alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi riots that took place in February 2020.

During the hearing, Delhi Police requested for more time to respond to the petition. They made this request before a Bench of Justices A S Bopanna and M M Sundresh.

Advocate Rajat Nair, representing the Delhi Police, asked the Bench for some additional time to file a counter affidavit in the matter.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is representing Khalid, argued that in a bail matter, there should not be a need for a counter affidavit.

He pointed out that Khalid has already been in custody for two years and 10 months.

Nair expressed his hope to file a counter in the matter within a short time, and he requested the Bench to grant them a reasonable amount of time, emphasizing that the charge sheet is extensive and consists of thousands of pages.

The Bench noted that the charge sheet should have been ready on the day but it was not, and as a result, the matter was rescheduled for a hearing on 24 July.

On 18 May, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi Police to respond to Khalid's plea.

In his appeal, Khalid is challenging the Delhi High Court's decision to deny him bail in the case.

The High Court had previously rejected his bail plea on October 18 of last year, citing his constant communication with other co-accused individuals and finding the allegations against him to be prima facie true.

Additionally, the High Court determined that the actions of the accused qualified as a "terrorist act" under the anti-terror law UAPA.

Khalid, along with Sharjeel Imam and several others, has been charged under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for their alleged involvement as "masterminds" in the February 2020 riots, resulting in 53 deaths and over 700 injuries.

In September 2020, Khalid was arrested by the Delhi Police. He sought bail on the grounds that he had no criminal involvement in the violence and no connection with any other accused in the case.

The Delhi Police opposed Khalid's bail plea in the High Court, arguing that his speech was carefully calculated and touched upon sensitive issues such as Babri Masjid, triple talaq, Kashmir, alleged suppression of Muslims, and the CAA and NRC.

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