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‘Is Opposing CAA Illegal in Itself?’ Court Reserves Verdict on Umar Khalid Bail

"Is the opposition to scrapping of article 370 or triple talaq or CAA illegal in itself?” his lawyer said in court.

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The Delhi High Court reserved its verdict on a plea filed by activist Umar Khalid challenging a court order refusing him bail in the 2020 Delhi riots case.

"Speeches of one other co accused (Sharjeel Imam) and my client have references to triple talaq bill, Article 370, participation in protests and some WhatsApp messages. But at the heart of it lies opposition to CAA," his lawyer, Trideep Pais, argued in court, according to Live Law.

"That is the only component. Is the opposition to scrapping of article 370 or triple talaq or CAA illegal in itself?” he questioned, in response to the prosecution's prosecution's argument that the speeches made by Khalid and Imam had a 'common factor' intended to create unrest amongst Muslims.

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'No Intent To Commit a Crime'

Pais reportedly argued that there was nothing to show that there was meeting of minds or some kind of physical manifestation of agreement between Umar and his co-accused Sharjeel Imam to commit a crime.

He said that the prosecution’s witnesses were making baseless statements and that Khalid wasn’t even present during any of the violent acts.

"The only overt act attributed to me is a speech (Amravati speech). And just one line 'sadko par utar aaye.' That was heard by many, it was a public event. It never led to violence. In the context of that speech he raised. Conspiracy is not towards raising issue of injustice, it should be towards violence in Delhi,” Pais said.

Khalid, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, was arrested on 13 September 2020 and has remained in custody ever since. The Karkardooma court denied him bail on 24 March.

He and several others have been booked under draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and are accused of being the masterminds behind the large-scale violence that shook Northeast Delhi in February 2020.

(With inputs from Live Law.)

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Topics:  Delhi High Court   Umar Khalid   UAPA 

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