More than a month after it began submissions, the Delhi Police Wednesday concluded its arguments against activist Umar Khalid’s bail appeal before the Delhi High Court in the case of alleged larger conspiracy behind the Northeast Delhi riots.
The division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar listed the case for further hearing on September 9 after senior advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid, sought time to rebut the prosecution’s stand.
The court also asked Pais and the counsel representing police to file their written submissions, indicating that the order in the matter will be reserved this week.
Khalid approached the court for bail in April against the trial court order that denied him the relief. His counsel began arguments on April 22 and concluded on July 28 – the case was listed on 14 dates between April and July but the hearing did not take place on all the fixed days due to various reasons. The prosecution began arguments on August 1 – between last month and September 7, the case was listed on 12 dates but again hearing could not be held on all the dates.
Defending its case and opposing the bail appeal of Khalid, the prosecution during its arguments read the speeches made by co-accused Sharjeel Imam, the WhatsApp chats of various accused and the statements given by witnesses to it. Khalid’s counsel has earlier argued that completely unconnected incidents have been put together in the chargesheet to show a conspiracy.
Pais, representing Khalid, had submitted that five WhatsApp groups have been cited in the chargesheet but he was a member of only two and out of them, he posted messages in only one. The four messages included the location of a protest site and information regarding his communication with a police officer who wanted people to deescalate the protests, said Pais.
“No eyewitness or any witness speaks of his presence in any situation of violence in any part of Delhi during the protest against CAA. Not a single witness of alleged violence has spoken against him,” Pais had argued, adding that the statements against him are very proximate to his arrest “indicating some material was being built up just before his arrest”.