Delhi violence case: SC adjourns Umar Khalid’s bail hearing to January 31

Umar Khalid. [File Photo]

New Delhi: The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on former JNU student Umar Khalid’s bail plea in a case related to the north-east Delhi violence of February 2020, registered under the anti-terror law UAPA.

The bench, consisting of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Ujjal Bhuyan, deferred the matter to January 31, citing time constraints until lunch. Senior advocate C U Singh, representing Khalid, expressed readiness to present arguments but noted that the bench would rise after lunch.

Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra recused himself from the case on August 9. Khalid’s petition challenges the Delhi High Court’s October 18, 2022, order that denied his bail, stating that he remained in constant contact with co-accused and the allegations against him were prima facie true.

The high court considered the actions of the accused as qualifying under the “terrorist act” category as per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Umar Khalid, along with Sharjeel Imam and others, faces charges under the UAPA and various sections of the Indian Penal Code, being accused of orchestrating the February 2020 riots during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The violence resulted in 53 deaths and over 700 injuries.

Khalid, arrested in September 2020, sought bail, asserting no criminal role in the violence and no conspiratorial connection with other defendants.

The Delhi Police opposed Khalid’s bail plea, citing his calculated speech on contentious issues like Babri Masjid, triple talaq, Kashmir, the alleged suppression of Muslims, and the CAA and NRC.

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