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Delhi anti-Hindu Riots: UAPA accused Shifa Ur Rehman, Abdul Khalid Saifi and 2 others seek bail on parity with Natasha Narwal, HC reserves order

Alumni Association of Jamia Milia Islamia (AAJMI) President Shifa Ur Rehman, Abdul Khalid Saifi, Mohd Saleem Khan and student activist Gulfisha Fatima have sought bail on the grounds of parity with Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who are already on bail granted by the Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on the bail plea of four accused in the case concerning the alleged larger conspiracy behind the northeast Delhi riots in 2020.

Shifa Ur Rehman, Abdul Khalid Saifi, Gulfisha Fatima and Mohd Saleem Khan are accused in the larger conspiracy of Delhi riots case registered under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Alumni Association of Jamia Milia Islamia (AAJMI) President Shifa Ur Rehman, Abdul Khalid Saifi, Mohd Saleem Khan and student activist Gulfisha Fatima have sought bail on the grounds of parity with Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who are already on bail granted by the Delhi High Court.

A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain reserved the order after hearing submissions of counsels for accused persons as well as Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad.

While opposing the bail pleas, SPP Amit Prasad argued that the accused can not claim parity because the orders of the High Court granting bail to Natasha, Devangana and Asif can’t be treated as precedent, as clarified by the Supreme Court.

He also submitted that if the accused persons seek parity with the accused persons, then the court has to see parity with the role of Umar Khalid, whose bail was dismissed by the High Court and this order has reached finality.

SPP Amit Prasad also submitted that the bar under 43 (D) is also applicable in this case under UAPA. He also said that there are protected witnesses who stated the role of the accused persons behind the conspiracy that caused riots.

He said that there were 58 protected witnesses and urged the court to order a day-to-day hearing.

However, the court rejected the submission and said that only one case should be heard on priority.

While arguing for Shifa Ur Rehman, senior advocate Salman Khurshid argued that there are no allegations of terrorist activity. There are allegations of protest.

He argued that any form of protest, chakka jaam, can not be called a terrorist activity under UAPA and such a conclusion would go against the foundation of the jurisprudence of liberty in the country.

Senior advocate Sushil Bajaj appeared for Gulfisha Fatima and argued that her alleged role is less serious than that of Natasha.

During the hearing, the SPP informed the court that a supplementary charge may be filed as certain FSL examinations are pending. The result can only be filed by way of a supplementary charge sheet.

The trial court has also filed a status of proceeding of the riots cases.

On February 29, the High Court asked the Delhi Police to clarify whether the investigation into the Delhi riot’s larger Conspiracy 2020 case is complete or if they are going to file more supplementary charge sheets.

The High Court had raised the question while hearing the bail plea of Abdul Khalid Saifi, founder of United Against Hate (UAH).

As of now, one main charge and four supplementary charge sheets have been filed by Delhi Police in this case.

An application moved by Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita is pending before the trial court against the commencement of arguments on charge without an investigation being completed.

On February 6, 2024, the High Court asked Delhi Police to show material against Saifi to show that he was involved in the violence. The high court had also rapped Delhi Police for lengthy arguments.

The bench asked the SPP to file a compilation defining the accused’s role.

The High Court is hearing the appeals related to the denial of bail to the accused booked under UAPA. Delhi police booked Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Tahir Hussain and other accused in this case.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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