Delhi Court Rejects Umar Khalid’s Bail Application in 2020 Riots Case

A Delhi court has denied the bail application of Umar Khalid, who had sought regular bail in a case related to the 2020 Delhi riots. The decision was announced after Special Judge Sameer Bajpai reserved the ruling on May 13. Khalid’s request for bail was based on the arguments of delay in trial and parity with other accused who have been granted bail.

During the proceedings, the Delhi police’s special public prosecutor strongly opposed Khalid’s bail, describing it as “frivolous and baseless.” The prosecutor highlighted that Umar Khalid was accused of orchestrating protests at 23 locations in 2020, which allegedly led to widespread riots. According to the prosecutor, Khalid’s actions included sharing messages and links that purportedly amplified his narrative as part of a conspiracy, raising questions about whether these acts constituted criminal or terror activities.

In defense, Khalid’s counsel argued that there were no terror allegations against him in the Delhi police’s charge sheet and insisted that merely repeating his name did not substantiate the charges. The defense also pointed out that Khalid was being subjected to a harsh media trial, which was affecting the fairness of the judicial process.

Furthermore, Khalid’s lawyer referenced cases of other activists like Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who had been granted bail by the Delhi High Court under similar charges, to strengthen the argument for parity.

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The public prosecutor countered by citing instances where people used social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) to influence the proceedings of Khalid’s bail hearing. He alleged that Khalid had a pattern of crafting media and social media narratives to sway judicial outcomes, specifically during bail hearings.

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