Northeast Delhi violence: Delhi HC to hear bail pleas in larger conspiracy case lodged under UAPA

The Delhi High Court on Monday decided to hear several bail pleas in a larger conspiracy case lodged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) related to North East Delhi riots. The special bench said that it will hear the matters daily post-lunch from next week.
The special bench on October 15 dismissed the appeal of Umar Khalid against the trial court order denying bail to him. A special bench comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajanish Bhatnagar decided to hear bail pleas of the accused in a larger conspiracy related to the North East Delhi riots of 2020.
The bench said that it will hear Abdul Khalid Saifi’s bail plea today and Friday. The Bench will hear the matters every day post-lunch from next week.
The High Court on Friday adjourned the appeals challenging the bail denial in the larger conspiracy case.
The appeals have been filed by Abdul Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Gulfisa Fatima, Saleem Khan, Shifa Ur Rehman and Sharjeel Imam. Umar Khalid’s appeal has been rejected. One appeal has been preferred by the State against the order granting bail to Ishrat Jahan.
Senior advocate Rebecca John submitted that there were WhatsApp groups. In the CAB team, there was an Indian pledge and that was not seditious at all. There was not a call for a ‘Chakka Jaam’.
She also argued that the trial court order suffers infirmity as it fails to appreciate the material facts.
Now the matter is likely to be heard on Friday.
The bench on Friday had said that they will take a call that they will hear all appeals. As this would take a lot of time to conclude all these.
The bench was dealing with the appeal filed by Abdul Khalid Saifi against the order of the Karkardooma Court refusing him bail.
Justice Mridul said, “We never heard any of these appeals earlier. This is a special bench and we never heard any of these. We can’t conclude these appeals by hearing them only on Friday post lunch.We will take a call whether these appeals would be heard by this special bench. In order to conclude the hearing will have to devote some time every day. We will take a call on this.”
Justice Mridul was informed that the appeal filed by Sharjeel Imam is also pending before the court. He said that they never heard the appeal on behalf of Sharjeel Imam.
The Delhi High court’s other bench on July 11 transferred the bail matter of Khalid Saifi, an accused in a larger conspiracy case of North East Delhi riots, before the special bench hearing the connected bail matters.
Advocate Rajat Kumar, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that it is an appeal against the trial court order in a riot-related matter and other connected matters are pending before the special bench. So this matter should be listed before the same bench.
The High Court on May 9, 2022, issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi on an appeal of Khalid Saifi, an accused in a larger conspiracy connected with the northeast Delhi violence challenging a trial court order refused bail to him.
Saifi was booked under UAPA by the Delhi Police. It was alleged that Abdul Khalid Saifi was one of the main organizers of the Khureji Protest site which was near Badi Masjid in the Khureji area.
The Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar on May 9, 2022, had issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi and listed the matter for July 11, 2022. Then the bench was changed and the matter had listed before another bench.
Earlier Trial Court’s Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dismissed the bail plea saying, ” I am of the opinion that allegation against the accused Khalid Saifi is prima facie true.
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, counsel for the accused had argued that the accused Abdul Khalid Saifi has been falsely implicated in this case and the entire case of the prosecution is unsubstantiated without any evidence to link with the communal riots of 2020.
It was also argued that the accused is a businessman by profession and runs a travel agency. He is also a social activist. There is no evidence on record to suggest that the accused gave any provocative speech so as to instigate anyone to commit any act of violence.
Senior Advocate had argued that the reliance of the prosecution on a WhatsApp group called DPSG would show the peripheral participation of the accused in the said group. Nothing in the group or in the accused’s participation in the group is suggestive of any criminal conspiracy.
Counsel for the accused further argued that as per the prosecution, funding was provided to him between December 2019 and 26 February 2020 for orchestrating riots in Delhi. It was argued that the accused was receiving money from Naseef Abdul Kareem in his NGO bank account not just in 2020 but since 2018. The statement of Abdul Majid, a Trustee of the New Education Welfare Organisation, NGO, is inherently false.
On the other hand, opposing the bail the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad had argued that there is sufficient material on record to establish that the accusation against the accused Khalid Saifi is prima facie true and hence the bail application may be dismissed.
SPP Amit Prasad had submitted that Khalid Saifi was a member of the Whatsapp group DPSG, CAB Team and United Against Hate (UAH) Okhla. Khalid Saifi also attended a meeting at 6/6 Jangpura, Bhogal, Delhi on 8 December 2019 attended by Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and others. He also attended the meeting on 26 December 2019 at Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Colony, Delhi after which DPSG was created on 28 December 2019.
According to the statement, on 8 January 2020, a meeting between Umar Khalid, Tahir Hussain, and Khalid Saifi took place at the PFI office, Shaheen Bagh, Delhi.
In northeast Delhi, large-scale violence broke out in February 2020. In this violence, 53 people died and hundreds were injured according to the police.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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