Updated: August 24, 2021 8:08:18 am
Former JNU student Umar Khalid’s lawyer told a Delhi Court that he was framed in the northeast Delhi riots UAPA case by the press which played an edited video of his speech initially tweeted by BJP leader Amit Malviya.
Senior Advocate Trideep Pais, who appeared on behalf of Umar was addressing arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat who adjourned the case for September 3. Pais began his arguments by telling the court that the police have registered a total of 715 FIRs and Umar was “not named in a single FIR”. He told the court that the UAPA FIR is “unnecessary and has been drafted and filed in order to target people selectively based on the opposition to CAA.” Pais told the court that in each of the riot FIRs, a cognisable offence was disclosed, however, in the present FIR there is no such thing.
“It was an FIR was framed in such a broad manner in which you can give statements to frame people. That is the beauty of this FIR,” Pais told the court. He submitted that the witnesses in this case have made contradictory statements to the police and the magistrate.
“The chargesheet is a complete fabrication…selectively witnesses were brought to say this and that against my client…This FIR is a hollow FIR…laughable statements have been made. What will the prosecution achieve from this? The purpose of this FIR is not to bring home guilt, it’s hypocrisy. None of the people in this FIR should be held in custody,” Pais told the court.
Pais then began arguing on Umar’s speech made at Amravati, Maharashtra which was shown on YouTube by Republic World and argued that his client was framed by the press. “I have been framed by the press. Why did they leave other parts of speech? The DVD given is not a part of chargesheet. Further notice was sent on June 23 for providing footage available on YouTube and TV channel given on February 17,” Pais told the court.
While reading out the reply Pais told the court, “Please see these are journalists who never go on the ground to see speech but are very happy to show it…They never went there. The reply says they don’t have the raw footage and that the video was obtained from a tweet done by a member of BJP”.
The court asked, “Video was broadcast without verifying?”
Pais replied in the affirmative and read out a reply by Republic TV with reference to the notice requesting footage of Umar Khalid’s speech “the footage was not recorded by our cameraperson. It was tweeted by Mr. Amit Malviya..” Pais told the court, “Your material is a youtube video which is copied from a tweet. The journalist did not even have the responsibility to go there. It’s not a journalistic ethic. This is a death of journalism.”
Following this, Pais played the full video of Umar’s speech before the court. After the speech ended, Pais argued on the video transcript of the speech played by News 18 which was also served notice to provide raw footage of Umar’s speech.
“It makes a world of a difference that that one sentence was taken out by News 18. All I’m saying is that a message of unity based on Gandhiji was given that day and that was termed as a terror,” Pais told the court.
Pais told the court he was not seeking parity with the three student activists who were granted bail in this case by the Delhi High court but said that his “case is better than everybody else’s“.
Pais told the court that Umar’s speech was not seditious and the event was also attended by retired IPS officers. “He is talking about democratic power. He refers to Mahatma Gandhi. He does not call for violence or violent methods. He speaks to you about the fear people went through about the violence in Jamia’s library,” Pais told the court.
Pais also told the court that the prosecution has “come up with this fantastic theory” and get “witnesses to say it that the Conspiracy was hatched when Donald Trump visited India.” He argued that as per the theory this conspiracy was hatched on January 8, however, he said that the response of Ministry of External Affairs stated that the news about Trump’s visit was announced on February 11, 2020.
“They tell you I knew about Trump’s visit on January 8 when the MEA did not know? This is why I said in the beginning that they don’t want the judiciary to be a part of this process. They want your honour out of this process,” Pais told the court.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.