Today, the Supreme Court (SC) of India was hearing the SLP (special leave petition) filed by Umar Khalid, former JNU scholar and activist, challenging the 2022 Delhi High Court’s decision to deny him bail in connection with the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case. Since September 2020, Umar Khalid has been in jail awaiting his trial under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) for his alleged involvement in the communal violence that broke out in Delhi in February 2020. The matter was mentioned today before a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Aniruddha Bose. The SC bench granted leave in the bail application and listed the matter for hearing after four weeks.
While delivering the order, the bench told Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal (appearing for Umar Khalid), “In this matter, we will have to go document-by-document. You file something on what is the evidence available with regard to the charges.” The SC bench’s order reads, “We will grant leave and fix it after two to three weeks. You file something on what is the evidence available insofar as offences under Chapters 4 and 6 [of the UAPA] are concerned, and how according to you, it’s not matching…Now chargesheet has been submitted. We will have to match the ingredients of the offences with the charges.”
SA Sibal agreed to this stating “Your Lordships may have it after four weeks. In the meantime, my Constitution Bench [hearing] will also be over.” He also said “We have given the pages and everything. Besides the evidence, our first submission is Sections 16, 17, and 18 do not apply at all.” Following this, Justice Bose replied, “We will have to verify that as well on the basis of the evidence.” The bench also directed the registry to provide a specific date for listing the matter again after four weeks.
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