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Umar Khalid’s lawyer claims everyone who gave statements against him has ‘fertile imagination’, claims no evidence against him in Delhi riots case

During the hearing, one of the most important aspects that came to light was the chats between Khalid and his celebrity contacts, including Sushant Singh

On 21st March, Karkardooma Sessions Court in Delhi heard the bail plea of anti-Hindu Delhi riots accused Umar Khalid. Only the defence lawyer’s arguments were heard, and the matter has been listed for the next hearing on 3rd April.

During the hearing, one of the most important aspects that came to light was the chats between Khalid and his celebrity contacts, including Sushant Singh. This was the first time these chats came to light as part of a reply by the prosecution. Full details of the chats are yet to be revealed.

The defence mentioned one of the chats between Khalid and Sushant, where Khalid shared a link to The Quint’s report to “expose” Delhi Police.

Defence ‘explained’ changed circumstances leading to the withdrawal of the bail plea from the Supreme Court

In his argument, the defence lawyer for Khalid claimed that the bail plea was withdrawn from the Supreme Court because ‘SLP filed against co-accused getting bail from the High Court’. The defence cited the bail granted to Devangana Katlita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha and argued that as Khalid’s SLP was pending and Umar was arguing before the High Court, no part of the bail order to Katlita and others could be cited.

The defence further argued that the only position to evaluate was to determine whether Khalid was entitled to bail factually or not. He argued that only the interpretation of UAPA is barred from being treated as precedent; hence, Khalid was entitled to the plea of parity.

Notably, in his reply, the public prosecutor mentioned that there were attempts to set a narrative of Khalid on social media and in media. The defence argued against it and called it “pamphleteering”. However, the prosecution’s reply presented evidence that Khalid attempted to set a narrative in media and social media.

The defence also argued that Khalid should be given bail due to “prolonged incarceration” and claimed that Khalid should be allowed to the “parity” argument as Devangana, Nathasha, and Asif got bail.

“The orders in Natasha, Devangana or Asif, or the order rejecting my bail, if bail is granted to me, would not be circumvented”, the defence says, citing other judgements. He also tried to draw a parallel between the Umar Khalid case and Vernon Gonsalves’s bail judgment. He said that the HC in Umar Khalid’s bail case interpreted Watalli’s judgement in a manner that made the court the mouthpiece of the prosecution.

Defence played ‘no evidence against Khalid’ card

In his argument, a defence lawyer said there was no evidence against Khalid. He also claimed Khalid was not present and did not cause death. He said, “Not a single witness refers to Umar Khalid having committed a terrorist act.”

According to the defence, attending a conference did not amount to terror. He admitted Khalid was present at a couple of meetings and added that the accusations against him were a “result of the fertile imagination of the IO”.

Speaking on Khalid’s presence in certain groups, such as MSJ or SOJ, the defence claimed that he was added to those groups and did not talk or give directions. He further claimed the said group did not commit a terror act. He also denied the accusations that Khalid had instructed Imam to start a WA group on the intervening night of 4th and 5th Dec 2019.

The defence further argued that because Supreme Court had said and, hartal, rail roko etc, are legitimate forms of protest, Chakka Jan could not equate to terror. Dismissing a witness’s statement, the defence claimed that the witness said Khalid may have “instructed” to create violence was purely hearsay.

Umar Khalid’s lawyer threw all his associates under the bus to get him bail

Khalid’s lawyer threw Tanha under the bus and argued the allegations against him were more severe than Khalid’s. He said if the Vernon Test was applied, Khalid should get bail on the argument of parity.

The defence lawyer admitted Khalid was part of the DPSG group but claimed there was no material evidence against him. “I am yet to see a message by Umar which incites violence, gets excited by violence, etc,” he argued.

Defence claimed that three out of five messages by Khalid were location shares, and one was about the call he received from Delhi Police, where they advised him not to proceed with the protest. Defence emphasised that Khalid had “minimum” involvement in planning the demonstrations and the groups mentioned in the charge sheet. He then continued to argue that DPSG were there and far more involved on the days when there was violence.

The defence claims everyone who spoke against Khalid has a ‘fertile imagination’

The defence claimed everyone, including police, investigating officers, lawyers, witnesses, people in the group, and some people who sent messages to the WA group, had a “fertile imagination”. All of them had named Khalid.

Speaking at the meeting at the Popular Front of India’s office for raising funds for the riots, the defence claimed that Khalid was not physically present at the Khajuri Khas violence. He pointed towards the Call Detail Record and claimed Khalid was not present at the location. Alluding the delay in naming Khalid in their statements, the defence questioned the authenticity of the statements given by Tahir Hussain and Khalid Saifi. The defence continued to throw every possible associate of Umar Khalid under the bus to get bail for him.

The prosecution did not get time to argue in the case as the judge asked for an adjournment. The matter will be next heard on 3rd April.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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