In a bizarre judgment, Umar Khalid was given bail by a Delhi court in the deadly anti-Hindu Delhi riots case provided he installs the Aarogya Setu app on his phone! The judgment was pronounced by Karkardooma Court Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav who had earlier granted interim protection to 2 other Muslim accused in the deadly anti-Hindu Delhi rioting.
While granting bail to Khalid on the ground of him having been in custody since October last year, the court order says:
The investigation in the matter is complete and the chargesheet has already been filed. The trial in the matter is likely to take a long time. The applicant has been in judicial custody in the matter since 01.10.2020. The applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter.
Khalid has also been directed to appear before the court on every hearing date and furnish his mobile number to SHO of Khajuri Khas PS. Additionally, he mustn’t tamper with evidence or attempt to influence any witness as well as maintain peace and harmony in the locality have been laid down as his bail conditions by the judge.
Khalid sought bail on grounds of parity with other co-accused while adding that he had been falsely implicated in the case due to political vendetta in an attempt to muzzle dissent. It was also argued that neither was Khalid present at the crime scene nor was there evidence on record to show he had met the main accused Tahir Hussain.
The Prosecution opposed the bail on the grounds that investigations in the matter were still underway and several members of the riotous mob were yet to be identified. The Prosecution also contended that the “conspiracy angle” behind such a large-scale riot needed to be unearthed.
The court, on its part, noted that it was not the prosecution’s case that Khalid was physically present at the scene. Khalid had prima facie been roped in the matter on basis of his own disclosure statement and that of co-accused persons’ Tahir Hussain and Khalid Saifi. It further observed that it didn’t find any rationale in the police having included Khalid’s name in the present FIR.
Legal website Bar and Bench records the judge as saying:
I find absolutely no substance in the argument of learned Special PP that in a case of criminal conspiracy, the disclosure statement of co-accused can be read against another co-accused, merely on the ground that pursuant thereto the CDRs of co-accused were unearthed which led to the recovery of fact of meeting dated 08.01.2020.The sole evidence of this so-called conspiracy is a statement of PW Rahul Kasana, wherein he stated on 27.09.2020 that he was standing outside a building in the area of Shaheen Bagh, where he had dropped principal accused Tahir Hussain and thereafter he saw applicant and Khalid Saifi going into the same building. I fail to understand from the aforesaid statement how a lofty claim of conspiracy can be inferred.
“The applicant cannot be permitted to remain behind bars in this case on the basis of such a sketchy material against him..In my humble opinion, chargesheeting the applicant in this case on the basis of such an insignificant material is unwarranted.”
(Featured Image Source: Bar and Bench)
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