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Can I be convicted based on hearsay, asks Umar Khalid

On the allegation that there was a conspiracy to exploit women by putting them at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests, Pais said, “Not a single woman has come forth and said I have been exploited. Should it not emerge from there and not from the police officer who is writing this imaginary tale".

Umar Khalid, Umar Khalid bail hearing, Umar Khalid news, Umar Khalid Delhi high court, Umar Khalid Northeast Delhi riots, Indian Express, Indian Express news" />The court is hearing arguments in Khalid’s plea for bail. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar/File)

Arguing that the statement of the main witness against him is based on hearsay, Umar Khalid, who is an accused in the larger conspiracy case in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that there is no direct connection between him and any violence whatsoever.

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Senior Advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid, submitted that there are 10-15 paragraphs in the chargesheet with no basis or supporting evidence, and if the prosecution has the propensity to create such things, then it is clear that the protected witness ‘Bond’ is fabricated. Rims and rims of paper have been wasted on imagination and hyperbole, Pais contended before the division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar.

“Material is being fabricated intentionally to create prejudice against me. I have to bear the brunt of two years of imprisonment because you have a statement which does not connect to the violence, does not connect to the money. You have a solitary statement for all the violence in Jamia qua me based on which I have to bear the brunt,” Pais argued.

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Pais questioned whether he can be convicted based on hearsay. Justice Bhatnagar observed that the veracity of the witness’ statement has to be tested. Pais said the trial court in the order denying Khalid bail simply read the statements as it is and did not say why the defence is wrong.

“We have three arms of the government. A statute, howsoever draconian it may be, is the legislature. My arrest is (by) the executive. I am before your lordships for the determination of good and sufficient and prima facie. What the learned sessions judge does is he eliminates himself from that equation,” Pais submitted.

Pais also argued that the trial court order is based on an “erroneous understanding” of the Watali judgment on bail under the UAPA.“We agree that the admissibility is not a question that the accused can address but the reliability, which the court had completely ignored, is something available to this court and also to the learned Special Judge whilst hearing my bail application,” he said.

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On the allegation that there was a conspiracy to exploit women by putting them at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests, Pais said, “Not a single woman has come forth and said I have been exploited. Should it not emerge from there and not from the police officer who is writing this imaginary tale”.

First published on: 25-05-2022 at 02:10:31 am
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