Umar Khalid’s Bail Plea in UAPA Case Postponed by Supreme Court

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What is the case about?

Umar Khalid, a former JNU student and activist, is facing a bail plea in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged involvement in the Delhi riots of February 2020. The riots, which erupted during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

Khalid, along with several others, has been booked under the anti-terror law UAPA and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being the “masterminds” of the violence. He was arrested by the Delhi Police in September 2020 and has been in judicial custody since then.

Why was his bail plea adjourned?

Khalid’s bail plea was scheduled to be heard by a bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. However, the hearing was adjourned to January 24 by the Supreme Court after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Khalid, sought more time to present his arguments.

Sibal said he was busy in a Constitution bench matter and requested for a week’s extension. He also said that even Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, who is representing the Delhi Police, was not available. The bench expressed displeasure over Sibal’s request and said it was not inclined to defer the matter.

Umar Khalid’s Bail Plea

The bench then listed Khalid’s bail plea along with a batch of petitions challenging various provisions of the UAPA. It also said that no further adjournment shall be granted on January 24.

What are the implications of his bail plea?

Khalid’s bail plea is one of several petitions challenging the constitutionality of the UAPA, which is widely seen as a draconian law that gives sweeping powers to security agencies to arrest and detain anyone without trial for up to six months. The petitioners have argued that the law violates fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, expression, association and movement.

If Khalid’s bail plea is granted by the Supreme Court, it could set a precedent for other cases involving activists and protesters who are accused under anti-terror laws. It could also pave way for his release from jail and allow him to resume his academic activities at JNU.

However, if his bail plea is rejected by the Supreme Court or any other court in India or abroad, he could face further legal hurdles in getting relief from his detention. He could also face trial under other laws such as sedition or criminal conspiracy for his alleged role in inciting violence during the Delhi riots.

What are some other facts about Umar Khalid?

Umar Khalid is one of India’s most prominent student leaders who has been vocal against government policies such as CAA and NRC. He has also been involved in various social movements such as anti-CAA protests at JNU in 2019 and anti-fascist rallies across India.

He has been accused by some sections of media and politicians of being a “terrorist” and a “communist” who wants to overthrow democracy and establish an Islamic state in India. He has also faced threats from online trolls and right-wing groups who have called him names such as “Pappu”, “Maoist” or “ISIS”.

He has denied all these allegations and claimed that he is being targeted for his dissenting views. He has also appealed to various human rights organizations such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch to intervene in his case.

Umar Khalid’s bail plea in UAPA case is one of several legal battles that he faces after being arrested for allegedly being involved in Delhi riots. His case raises important questions about freedom of expression, dissent and human rights in India. His fate will depend on how different courts interpret and apply various laws related to terrorism and security.

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