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Bail application can't be decided on research: Court on Umar Khalid's plea

A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the bail application of Umar Khalid observing that any thesis or research done by any accused can not be a ground for assessing mens rea or his bent of mind

Umar Khalid

Photo: ANI

ANI General News
A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the bail application of Umar Khalid observing that any thesis or research done by any accused can not be a ground for assessing mens rea or his bent of mind. A bail application must be decided on facts presented in the charge sheet.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dismissed the bail plea saying there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against Umar Khalid is prima facie true.
The Court noted that the contention of Advocate Trideep Pais senior counsel appeared for accused that Umar Khalid is a researcher and his bent of mind can be assessed from his doctoral thesis on welfare aspect of Adivasis of Jharkhand and other writings is not a relevant consideration while deciding the bail application
If the bent of mind is to be assessed in this manner, then the co-accused Sharjeel Imam has written a thesis on riots but any thesis or research work, by itself, done by an accused cannot be a ground for assessing mens rea or his bent of mind. A bail application must be decided on facts presented in the charge sheet, the court observed.
Umar Khalid is accused in a larger conspiracy case related to the Northeast Delhi violence of February 2020. He was booked under UAPA by Delhi Police Special Cell. He was arrested on 13 September 2020 for conspiracy of Delhi riots 2020.
The Court in its order observed, " It is also important to highlight that in a conspiracy, various continuous acts are committed by different accused persons. One act cannot be read in isolation. At times, if read by itself, a particular act on an activity may appear innocuous, but if it is a part of a chain of events constituting a conspiracy, then all the events must be read together.
The Court agreed with the contention of the Advocate Trideep Pais, Senior Counsel for accused that accused Umar Khalid was part of the Whatsapp group MSJ and DPSG but he has not written many messages in those groups and they are not overtly provocative or incriminatory.
However, the Court observed that the accused was part of such groups created for specific objects and his acts or presence throughout the period beginning from the passing of the CAB Bill in December 2019 till the February 2020 riots, has to be read in totality and not piecemeal. He has connectivity with many accused persons.
The Court rejected the contention of defence counsel that the accused was not present in Delhi during the time of riots. In this regard, Court said that in a case of conspiracy, it is not necessary that every accused should be present at the spot.
Moreover, as per witness Neon, Amanullah has said that the accused will move out on 23 February 2020 before riots. Witness Tariq Anwar had stated that Umar Khalid had told him to book tickets for him, specifically, for 23 February for travelling to Patna. When he said that the flight tickets are costly and he may book tickets after a few days, then Umar Khalid refused and thereafter, a flight ticket was booked for Umar Khalid for 23 February at 9.30 am, the court observed.
Senior Advocate Pais had argued that the present FIR is an omnibus FIR, the narrative of which is in itself fabricated and aimed at an open-ended investigation by which any and every person opposed to the CAA/NRC has been falsely implicated. The accused was not even present in New Delhi from 23-25 February 2020. Thus it is only rhetoric referring to the accused as the 'silent whisper' of the conspiracy or making vague allegations of remote supervision.
On the other hand, the bail application was vehemently opposed by the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad. He argued that the Delhi riots was a large scale and deep-rooted conspiracy hatched after the passing of the resolution by the Cabinet Committee ot present CAB in both houses of Parliaments on 4 December 2019.
Amit Prasad had argued Umar Khalid participated in the conspiracy. He had also argued that the case under sections is made out against the accused persons. There is sufficient material on record to establish that the accusation against the accused Umar Khalid is prima facie true and hence bail application of the accused may be dismissed.
This case pertains to large scale violence in Northeast Delhi in which 53 people had lost their lives and hundreds were injured.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 25 2022 | 7:30 AM IST

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