Umar Khalid Produced in Court in Handcuffs, Despite Court Ordering Police Not To

In January, the Patiala House Court had ordered that Khalid's production be done without using handcuffs or fetters.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Activist Umar Khalid was produced in handcuffs in a Delhi court today, despite a court order explicitly asking the Delhi Police to not do so. The court issued a notice to the DGP (Prisons) seeking an inquiry into his production in handcuffs.

Khalid was being produced in Delhi's Karkardooma Court for a hearing pertaining to FIR 59/2020, under which he has been accused of being involved in the 2020 Delhi riots and charged with UAPA.

Exactly a month ago, on 17 January 2022, the Patiala House Court's Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pankaj Sharma had passed an order that said, "...his (Umar Khalid's) production be done in routine manner without using handcuffs or fetters. Copy of the order be sent to the Jail Superintendent for compliance."
In January, the Patiala House Court had ordered that Khalid's production be done without using handcuffs or fetters.

A copy of the January 2022 order by the Patiala House Court, along with the operative line from the order.

(Photo: The Quint)


But on 17 February, the Delhi Police proceeded to produce Khalid in handcuffs, in a seemingly clear violation of the Patiala House Court order.

In January, the Patiala House Court had ordered that Khalid's production be done without using handcuffs or fetters.

Umar Khalid being produced in handcuffs by the Delhi Police at the Karkardooma Court on 17 February.

(Photo: The Quint)

Khalid was produced in the courtroom of Judge Amitabh Rawat, who is hearing the matter pertaining to FIR 59/2020. But since Judge Rawat was on leave, the reader of the court noted the presence of counsels and accused persons and there was no production before any judicial officer.

However, hours later on the same day, Judge Rawat issued notice to the DG (Prisons) on a plea moved by Khalid seeking a departmental enquiry into his illegal production in handcuffs despite judicial orders directing the jail authorities to produce him without any fetters.

"It needs no reiteration that an under-trial remains in the custody of the court throughout the proceedings and any step of fetters/handcuff, which are extreme steps, can only be taken after a court allows the same on a request or an application containing reasons. This court has passed no such orders for this accused or, for that matter, any accused in this case," stated Judge Rawat's court order on 17 February.

Additionally, the order also mentioned, "In view of the above stated circumstances and the seriousness of the issue, this Court deems it fit to bring the said lapses, if any, to the notice of the worthy Commissioner of Police, Delhi who may file a report after inquiry through any responsible senior officer whether the accused Umar Khalid was brought in the handcuff today and, if so, on what grounds/orders."


A Timeline of The Backstory

  • Earlier, in an order dated 6 May 2021, Karkardooma court Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav had disallowed the Delhi Police from producing Khalid in handcuffs in court.

  • Khalid's counsels told The Quint that following the Karkardooma court order, they had come to learn of certain news reports that stated that Khalid was to be produced in handcuffs in another case (FIR 110/2016, pertaining to the JNU sedition row of 2016) thanks to an order reportedly passed by CMM Pankaj Sharma of the Patiala House Court on 7 April 2021.

  • Khalid's counsels then moved the Patiala House Court requesting a copy of the order and attaching the news items which stated that such an order existed. They also submitted a copy of the daily order of 7 April 2021 in FIR 110/2016 where no such direction was issued.

  • Eventually, in an order dated 17 January 2022, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma stated that Khalid should not be produced in court either handcuffed or fettered. Sharma's order also noted that no such pre-existing order could be found where the Delhi Police had been permitted by the Patiala House Court to produce him in handcuffs.

Therefore, the actions of the Delhi Police to produce Khalid in handcuffs in a Delhi court on 17 February are seemingly in violation of the Patiala House Court's order.

The Quint has reached out to the concerned authorities of the Delhi Police for their response on this matter. This article will be updated if and when they respond.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Umar Khalid   Delhi Riots 2020 

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