Umar Khalid can’t be incarcerated forever on the basis of sketchy material, says a Delhi court; grants him bail

A Delhi court Thursday granted bail to former JNU student Umar Khalid in one of the FIRs registered against him at the Khajuri Khas police station in connection with the Delhi riots. Khalid will, however, continue to remain in jail; he has yet to get bail in another FIR which involves charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA).

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Vinod Yadav said Khalid could not be allowed to remain behind bars on the basis of “sketchy material” against him.

ASJ Yadav pointed out that there was no mention anywhere in the charge sheet that Khalid was physically present at the scene of the crime on the date of the incident nor had he been captured in any CCTV footage or viral video. Besides, there were no independent witnesses nor any police witnesses that had identified the applicant as being present at the scene of the crime.

“Prima facie, the applicant appears to have been roped in the matter merely on the basis of his own disclosure statement and disclosure statement of co-accused Tahir Hussain. The statement of public witness Rahul Kasana is yet to be tested on the touchstone of evidence”.

Khalid contended that the so-called eye witness namely Rahul Kasana was a planted witness whose statement could not be believed.

The court, thus, said Khalid could not be incarcerated for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob had to be identified and arrested in the case.

While granting him the bail, the court directed him to install Aarogya Setu App´in his mobile.

In FIR no.101 of 2020, Khalid is facing conspiracy charges along with Tahir Hussain and Khalid Saifi.

During the course of the investigation, on an inspection of the building of the principal accused Tahir Hussain and the adjoining area, a lot of debris, stones, bricks, broken bottles, some glass bottles with liquid, bullets and burnt articles were found lying scattered on the main Karawal Nagar Road.

It was found that Hussain’s building had been used by the rioters to throw stones, petrol bombs and acid bombs.

Click here to read the order