New Delhi: During the hearing of JNU scholar-activist Umar Khalid’s appeal in the broader conspiracy case involving the Delhi riots, the Delhi High Court asked whether it was proper to use the word “Jumla” against the Prime Minister.
During the hearing, a division bench comprising of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar took note of a video clip of Khalid’s allegedly objectionable speech uttered in Amravati in February 2021.
Trideep Pais, Khalid’s lawyer, contended before the court that the strong comments spoken against the government could not be considered an infraction under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
During the hearing, Justice Mridul posed the following question: “The term jumla is used to refer to India’s Prime Minister. Is it appropriate? “, at which the lawyer stated that criticising the government’s policy is not criminal.
The panel had previously stated on April 22 that Umar Khalid’s remarks in Amravati was “offensive and unpleasant.” “Is it true that Gandhiji used this language? Is it true that Shaheed Bhagat Singh ever used such language? We have no reservations about allowing free expression, but what exactly are you saying? “The bench had enquired.
Last month, Khalid was denied bail by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, who stated that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the charges against him were prima facie true.
While the rallies against the Citizenship Amendment Act were secular, Senior Advocate Trideep Pais stated that the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police is communal. While the prosecution insisted that chakka jam constituted a terror act, he argued that it is not an infraction and that it has been utilised by students and others throughout past agitations.
He went on to say that the chargesheet and FIR 59/2020 both exhibited a pattern of ‘false implication’ in the testimony of ‘made up witnesses.’He said that one of the witness statements, taken three days before Umar Khalid’s arrest, was fabricated to “fit the arrest.”
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