A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi in a case related to the February riots in northeast Delhi. According to news agency PTI, the court said “charge-sheeting him over insignificant material was total non-application of mind by the police which went to the extent of vindictiveness”.
The court said the claim of one prosecution witness, who on September 27 stated that Saifi had allegedly met co-accused Tahir Hussain and Umar Khalid on January 8 in Shaheen Bagh, but did not disclose the subject matter of the meeting, was too meagre to arrive at the “lofty claim” of conspiracy.
“In my humble opinion, charge-sheeting the applicant in this case on the basis of such an insignificant material is total non-application of mind by the police which goes to the extent of vindictiveness,” Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said in his order.
The court said it has nowhere been the case of the prosecution that Saifi was physically present at the scene of crime on the day of the incident and he has not been seen in any CCTV footage/viral videos of the matter.
Saifi has also been arrested in the case related to larger conspiracy in the riots and has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The court noted that the contention that he had been in regular contact with Hussain and Umar Khalid over mobile phone was hardly of any consequences, as prima facie it did not in any way go on to establish the criminal conspiracy alleged against him in the matter.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Delhi judge warned Tihar Jail authorities that he would conduct a physical inspection after several accused in a North-East Delhi riots case complained that they were being denied warm clothes, access to medicines amid a Covid outbreak in the jail, and letters from their families.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat directed Tihar Jail authorities to improve conditions or he would go for an inspection. He issued the warning after several of the 15 persons, accused in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case related to the riots, complained when they were produced before him via video-conference.
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