As the law catches up with the former JNU student Umar Khalid for his alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in the national capital, a set of former judges has come out to slam his supporters and so-called activists for trying to derail the process of law with regard to Delhi riots.
Without explicitly calling out people by their names, a group of retired judges have condemned a set of individuals, who claim themselves to be the sole custodians of civil society, for scuttling the usual process of law in the Umar Khalid case.
A new trend has emerged where disruptive elements are being put on the pedestal: Former judges
“A new belief is embraced wherein some allegedly disruptive elements are being elevated to the pedestal which assumes to be above the law of the land, amidst the cacophony and disorder instigated by the same supporting group which stands for those who support the disintegration of India,” read a statement released by the judges.
It further added, “Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom to instigate, provoke, participate or machinate to commit any crime. Freedom does not provide pardon from the legal consequences of criminality. National integration cannot be sacrificed at the altar of wishfully dis-integrative romanticism of the misguided elements. Law must take its own course. Umar Khalid is not an exception to the Rule of Law in India.”
The statement also accused the disruptive elements and their supporters of needlessly belittling democratic institutions of the country, including the Supreme Court of India, the Election Commission and the parliament, just because these institutes do not operate in conformity with their notions and beliefs.
Activists supporting Umar Khalid are operating under the illusion that judiciary works in accordance with their whims and fancies
“They seem to operate under the illusion that all democratic institutes in the country would uphold their whims and fancy, which by that very fact clearly portrays their lack of respect for India and what it stands for,” the judges added.
The letter also expressed its regret that even people who had previously held responsible positions and who are aware of the legal course, are indulging in laying impediments in the due process of law in respect to the Delhi riots, where “layers after layers of anti-national activities” are coming to light.
With regard to Umar Khalid’s interrogation, the judges said that ultimately all the allegations levelled against him will have to be proven in the court of law on the basis of evidence collected in the investigation, which might also include custodial investigation in some cases.
“If an accuse wants to secure bail, there are laid-out procedures for the same. It does not involve the third party interfering and browbeating the legal system by making reckless and scandalising statements in the media,” the statement signed by the former judges read.
Judges from across the country have been signatories to the statement that calls out the hectoring of the judicial process by the alleged civil activists and Umar Khalid supporters. As per a report in Times Now, the signatories include Justice BC Patel, former Chief Justice, J&K and Delhi High Court; Justice KR Vyas, former Chief Justice, Mumbai High Court; Justice Permod Kohli, former Chief Justice Sikkim High Court and Chairman CAT; Justice SM Soni, former Judge, Gujarat High Court and Lokayukta of Gujarat and Justice Ambadas Joshi, former Judge, Mumbai High Court.
The list also includes Justice SN Dhingra, former Judge, Delhi High Court; Justice Ashok Hinchigeri, former Judge, Karnataka High Court; Justice Dhiren Karia, former Judge, Gujrat High Court; Justice Rajendra Prasad, former Judge, Patna High Court; Justice Sunil Hali, former Judge, Allahabad High Court; Justice Prashant Kumar Agarwal, former Judge, Rajasthan High Court; Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore, former Judge, Rajasthan High Court; and Justice Sarvesh Kumar Gupta, former Judge, Uttarakhand High Court.
Umar Khalid arrested under UAPA for instigating Delhi riots
A Special Cell of the Delhi police arrested former JNU student Umar Khalid on September 14 in connection to the Delhi Anti-Hindu riots. He was booked under the newly amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and will be produced before the Court today.
Khalid was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after almost 11 hours of interrogation. He has been accused of playing an active role in fomenting violence in the national capital. He was later sent on a 10-days remand by a Delhi court.