‘This FIR is a cooked up theory’ Umar Khalid’s Lawyer Tells Delhi Court, Hearing Adjourned to Sept 3

"The purpose of this FIR is not to bring home guilt, it's hypocrisy. None of the people in this FIR should be held in custody," Khalid's lawyer told the Court.

Umar khalid
Image: Indian Express

On Monday Senior Advocate Trideep Pais appearing on behalf of JNU Scholar Umar Khalid argued in a Delhi court hearing the bail plea that the FIR against him did not hold any ground and scrutinised the evidence presented by the Delhi police bringing attention to several loopholes in it.

“Laughable statements have been made. What will the prosecution achieve from this? The purpose of this FIR is not to bring home guilt, it’s hypocrisy. None of the people in this FIR should be held in custody,” Live Law quoted the Senior Advocate.

The Court citing time constraints has adjourned the matter for September 3 and 6.

During the hearing, Pais said that if UAPA was not charged against those arrested in connection with the North Delhi pogrom, all of them would be out on bail.

Even under UAPA “the burden is not on me (the accused), but it’s on the Prosecution to show any prima facie case against me,” he added.

Khalid was arrested under UAPA charges by the Delhi Police’s special cell on September 13 for his alleged role in the pogrom in the northeast neighbourhoods of the national capital in February 2020.

Delhi police that operate under the BJP ruled Union government has been accused of targeting activists and scholars on flimsy charges who were associated with Anti-CAA protests in any capacity.

The advocate stated that both the videos used by the Delhi police in the case show only a section of Umar Khalid’s speech and the original source cited by the police was Republic TV and News 18.

Interestingly both these media organisation in their replies to the notice sent by the advocate accepted that they did not have the raw footage of Khalid’s speeches and that they accessed the videos from a tweet posted by a BJP leader.

“Your material is a youtube video which is copied from a tweet. The journalist did not even have the responsibility to go there. It’s not a journalistic ethic. This is a death of journalism,” Pais said and played the full speech given by Khalid for the Court.

Earlier in April, a Delhi Court today granted bail to Umar Khalid in a Delhi Riots case arising out of the FIR registered at PS Khajuri Khas (State v. Umar Khalid).

The court had observed that he cannot be permitted to remain behind bars on the basis of sketchy material against him.

Also read: “UAPA must be abolished”- Kin and Comrades of Political Prisoners Demand Their Release

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