2020 Delhi Riots case: Supreme Court adjourns hearing of Umar Khalid’s bail plea on July 24

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Today, the Supreme Court of India adjourned to hear a bail plea filed by former JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Scholar and activist Umar Khalid, who was one of the accused in the Delhi riots conspiracy case, on July 24. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the Delhi police in September 2020 for his alleged involvement in the February 2020 Delhi Riots conspiracy. Since then Umar Khalid has been behind bars and awaiting his trial. Today, the bench was considering Khalid’s plea against the Delhi High Court order that denied bail to him last year. The matter was mentioned before a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Justice MM Sundresh and Justice AS Bopanna

During the court proceedings, the counsel appearing for Delhi police urged the top Court for more time to file a counter affidavit whereas Senior Advocate appearing for Khalid, Kapil Sibal said “What counter is there to file? It’s a bail plea. The man is in custody for two years and eleven months.” Initially, the Supreme court directed to list the matter on 14 July (Friday) but the police counsel sought for more time. In a disapproval, Justice Bopanna said, “You should have been ready today.” In response to this, the counsel said “The charge sheet is voluminous, running into thousands of pages. I was given the papers two days ago.” He added, “please grant us some reasonable time to file a reply.” 

The top Court bench hearing the matter decided to list it on 24 July, 2023. Even though the board may be too heavy on Monday, the Court will give decision on this matter, said Justice Bopanna. Further, Justice Sundresh added, “May take 1-2 minutes for this.”