‘Ph.D not relevant..’: Court denies bail to JNU scholar in Delhi riots case

A court here on Tuesday denied bail to JNU scholar and Rashtriya Janata Dal Party youth leader Meeran Haidar, who was charged in Delhi 2020 riots case, observing that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against him in connection with the larger conspiracy case are prima facie true.

The contention that Haider works on socio-­political issues and has lot of qualifications, including Ph.D, is not a relevant consideration while deciding the bail application, which must be decided on facts presented in the charge­ sheet, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said in the order.

The Delhi Police’s Special Cell has charged Haider under various sections, including the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Another contention raised by the counsel of the accused was that Haider was not present in Delhi during the time of riots. However,the court noted that in a case of a conspiracy, it is not necessary that every accused should be present at the spot.

The rosecution argued that the conspiracy involved moving from the protest sites to designated locations on main roads/highways and blockades, creating confrontational situation, attacking police and para-military, spreading communal violence/attacking non­-Muslims and damaging public and private property by use of petrol bombs, firearms, deadly weapons, acid bombs, stones, and so on.

It was further also argued that the role of conspirators is not to be seen individually but rather a holistic view is to be taken, while looking at their prima facie involvement in the chain of conspiracy.

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