Delhi riots: Umar Khalid’s bail plea deferred third time

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A Delhi court on Wednesday deferred the pronouncement of its verdict for the third time on the bail application of former JNU student-activist Umar Khalid in a case related to the alleged “larger conspiracy” behind Delhi riots.

The pronouncement of the order, which was deferred twice before, was set to deliver by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat on Wednesday. However, the judge said it was under correction and reserved the order for Thursday.

The order which was to be originally pronounced on March 14 had been listed for March 21. But the court deferred it following the filing of written notes by the prosecution and posted for March 23 (Wednesday).

On March 3, a bench had reserved its order after hearing the submissions of parties in the matter.

Opposing the bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad argued on the relevance of the speech given by Umar Khalid in Amravati in February 2020. He said the bail application was rejected on February 11, pointing out that the announcement of Donald Trump visiting India came on the same day.

During the course of the hearing, Khalid’s counsel, opposing the charges under the Indian Penal Code and UAPA, termed the charge sheet a “work of fiction”. He argued that the speech given by Khalid was about Gandhi, harmony, and the Constitution, and it is not a crime. After the submissions, the court had reserved the order.

Khalid, one of the accused in the conspiracy case, has been booked under the anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The riots broke out in northeast Delhi in February 2020 after clashes between anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-CAA protesters took a violent turn.

The mayhem, which coincided with then US President Donald Trump’s maiden trip to India, saw over 50 people lose their lives and over 700 injured.

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