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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Umar Khalid defence wants to equate case with The Trial of Chicago 7, Family Man: Prosecution

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad, making the argument before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, said that the Delhi riots were “clearly a criminal conspiracy carried out in secrecy."

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: January 12, 2022 1:32:21 am
Former JNU student Umar Khalid (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Arguing that the ultimate idea of the alleged Northeast Delhi riots conspiracy was to “overawe the government and bring it to its knees”, the prosecution Tuesday opposed the bail plea of former JNU student Umar Khalid in a UAPA case.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad said before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that the riots were “clearly a criminal conspiracy carried out in secrecy. There is a continuation after the crime and a clear attempt to cover up”.

Prasad further said, “Conspiracy has to be proved taking into account circumstantial evidence,” and that the riots were not a “spontaneous burst of violence”.

“This has been appreciated by the Delhi High Court in a bail matter,” he submitted. “The High Court appreciated that this did not happen in the spur of the moment. There were 23 protest sites that were created. They were not organic in nature but meticulously planned in close proximity to masjids. There were teams to give logistical support, etc. We have demonstrated that.”

“The ultimate idea was to overawe the government and undermine the authority of the government, which enacted CAA, and destabilise democracy. Idea was to bring the government to its knees and withdraw CAA,” he said.

Prasad also addressed the argument put forth by Khalid’s lawyer, senior advocate Trideep Pais, that the chargesheet was the “fertile imagination of the investigating officer” and that it felt like the script of a web series.

“He wants the present case to be decided based on web series and wants to equate (it) with Trial of Chicago 7 and Family Man. Why does he want to equate this case with Family Man? When you don’t have merit, you want to create headlines. What happens with all this? You create a perception… Family Man is not related to riots… There is another show called Grahan which is based on the 1984 riots. You want to refer to Family man and Chicago 7 since they are popular,” the SPP said.

Prasad said it was “unfortunate” that Pais called the investigating agency communal. “Investigating agency is not of a particular person but a state. We have to reach out to the same investigating agency if we have a problem. The first conviction in the riots case was of a Hindu,” he told the court.

Stressing that the court has to consider whether bail is decided on speculative arguments or a holistic view, he said, “The defence wants to give a selective interpretation of statements. This is a case of conspiracy. There are various ways to look at it.”

The SPP’s arguments will be further heard on January 24 and 31.

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