I have a Right to Protest Without Owing an Explanation to Anyone: Khalid Saifi During Bail Hearing

Khalid Saifi has got bail in 2 out of three cases in November 2020. The district court had commented that charge-sheeting him over insignificant material was a total “non-application of mind” by the Delhi Police.

Khalid Saifi

United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi’s lawyer during his bail plea submission  submitted before a Delhi Court said that Saifi does not owe an explanation to anyone about his participation in the protest against Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC.

Senior Advocate Rebecca John appearing for Saifi argued before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that every individual has a right to protest which in itself is not indicative of a conspiracy.

“I do not owe any explanation to anyone in this Country including the Delhi Police that I participated in the protest,” John submitted and added  “I’m not denying the fact, and I’m saying it with full responsibility that Khalid Saifi did protest against CAA, NRC, and as did I and so many people in this room. That does not make him or any of us culpable.”

Saifi, along with several others, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly conspiring to orchestrate the February 2020 riots, which left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

On the point of the right to protest, John objected to the allegations leveled against Saifi that he participated in the CAA NRC protests.

“If I and others like me, feel that CAA NRC is an unjust law. I have every right to protest. That in its own is not indicative of any conspiracy,” she said.

“Saifi protested against the CAA and NRC as did I and many others in this room. It does not make any one of us culpable. It is a vibrant democracy. Was there an incitement to violence?,” she contended.

After hearing John, the Court adjourned the hearing to September 9 when she will continue to argue on the aspect of financial transactions alleged against Saifi.

According to his counsel, Saifi was arraigned as an accused in three cases related to the riots, of which he has been granted bail in two.

In November 2020, the district court, while granting Saifi bail in one of the riot cases, said charge-sheeting him over insignificant material was a total “non-application of mind” by the Delhi Police

Also read: Delhi court grants bail to Khalid Saifi, slams police for vindictive Probe

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