NEW DELHI: Delhi court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on an interim bail plea of former JNU student Umar Khalid who is an accused in a 2020 northeast Delhi riots case.
Khalid has moved the plea seeking two-week interim bail for his sister's marriage.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat will pass the order on December 12. During the hearing, counsel for Khalid cited various judgments where the accused booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were granted interim bail.
However, opposing the bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad said that most of the judgments which were relied upon were not relevant as they were not for the grant of interim bail, rather they were for the grant of custody parole or interim custody bail because of the peculiar circumstances involved. “The cases relied upon where interim bail was granted were (because of) very exceptional circumstances and such circumstances do not exist here,” he said Prasad said Asif Iqbal Tanha (an accused under UAPA) was granted interim custody bail for appearing in an exam, while Natasha Narwal (another UAPA accused) was granted interim bail on the grounds that she was the only person to perform the last rites of her father. He further opposed the bail plea on the ground that Khalid's application had mentioned three dates for the marriage ceremony, i.e, from December 26-28, but the bail was sought for 14 days, from December 20 to January 3. “There is thus no ground for grant of interim bail… With regards to the admitted position in the application, an extraordinary demand has been raised…” the special public prosecutor said.
Earlier, Delhi Police had opposed Khalid's bail plea, saying he was facing serious charges under the UAPA and that he was likely to spread misinformation by use of social media during his interim bail period, which could cause unrest in society. Khalid was booked under the anti-terror law UAPA and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being a mastermind of the February 2020 riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. The violence had erupted during the protests against CAA and NRC.
Khalid was arrested by Delhi Police in September 2020.