Completely bereft of reason: Delhi Court on Police’s plea for production of Umar Khalid with handcuffs in both hands

ILNS: A Delhi Court recently, while dealing with an application seeking production of Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi with handcuffs claiming that they were high-risk prisoners, said it was “completely bereft of the reason”

“The instant applications are completely bereft of the reason(s), prompting the senior police officer(s) to take a decision to move such application(s). For want of material/reason(s) in respect of the applications in question, this Court is at a loss to consider the grant of prayer(s) in these applications,” said Additional Sessions Vinod Yadav, in his order dated April 22.

The court has now called for a report from the DCP concerned, directing him to communicate the reasons for moving such applications before the court. A similar report has also been called from the Jail Superintendent.

The said directions were passed, while the court was dealing with the application filed by the prosecution, seeking to produce both the applicants (Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi) in handcuffs in both hands from back side, as they were high-risk prisoners.

The court noted that applications are claimed to have been filed after a decision was taken in the matter by so-called senior police officers of Delhi Police, to move such applications before this Court.

While the matter was being heard through video-conferencing, the court questioned Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary regarding the meaning of high-risk prisoner and where the same has been defined; whether in the jail manual or Punjab Police Rules or the circular issued by Delhi Police.

Mr Chaudhary, however, said that he was not aware of the applications and as such, he could not take instructions in the matter.

The court has now kept the matter for further hearing on May 6. It also noted that both the applicants have already been granted bail.

The same court had, on April 15, granted bail to former JNU student Umar Khalid in the case relating to the violence that broke out in the Khajuri Khas area of North East district of national capital and said “chargesheeting him in this case on the basis of such an insignificant material is unwarranted.”

The ASJ granted bail to Khalid, while rejecting the prosecution’s claim 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.

“The sole evidence of this so-called conspiracy is a statement of PW Rahul Kasana, wherein he stated on September 27, 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,” said the Judge.

The Court granted bail to Khalid, subject to furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 20,000, with one surety in the like amount and subject to the condition that he shall not tamper with the evidence or influence any witness in any manner, maintain peace and appear before the Court on every date of hearing.

Khalid, however, remains in judicial custody under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (FIR 59/2020), in connection with the larger conspiracy that led to riots in the national capital, last year.

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Khalid was arrested by the Delhi Police in October last year, in connection with the violence in Khajuri Khas area. Suspended Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain is also under arrest in the case.
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