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Umar Khalid's Bail: Lawyer Says Police Charge Sheet is Like 'Family Man' Script

In the hearing, senior advocate Trideep Pais argued about the fabrication of statements, inconsistencies and delays.

Updated
Law
3 min read
Umar Khalid was arrested in the wee hours of 14 September in connection with the Delhi riots case.
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In the second day of the bail hearing of UAPA accused Umar Khalid under FIR 59 from the Delhi riots, senior advocate Trideep Pais said that the chargesheet exhibited the "storytelling capacity and the fertile imagination of its author".

He compared it to the script of the Amazon Prime show 'The Family Man'.

"Please understand, he's not writing the script of (The) Family Man. He is writing a chargesheet," Pais said, while adding that this was the stuff that was read and peddled to create public opinion when there is lack of evidence. "This is done to carry out your objective of unfairly prosecuting people when you have no material to do so," he said.

This was the second day of the arguments in the allegations against Khalid under FIR 59. The FIR alleges a conspiracy behind the communal violence that led to the death of at least 53 people.

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The charge sheet begins with saying that Umar Khalid is a "veteran of sedition".

"Is this how a charge sheet is written? This is beginning to sound like a TV news channel script," Pais said.

'Nothing Wrong With Umar Khalid's Amravati Speech'

Pais spoke about the speech Umar made in Amaravati and asserted that the police never entered it as evidence in full in court. While the speech was run by Republic TV and News 18, they had not verified the full clip and taken it from BJP leader Amit Malviya's handle.

In the last hearing Pais had played the entire clip. He reiterated today:

"There is nothing in that speech which is leading to lawless action, sedition, hatred or any illegality of any sort. Having said that, by the time they took the trouble of going to Amravati and take the speech, they had already made 18 arrests."
Pais tells the court.

Statement of Witness 'Fabricated'

While specifically referring to the statement of a witness, who was later a protected witness, he argued how the version of his statement changed repeatedly. "Can we rely on this witness to keep a man in jail, when he does not remember on 21 May that an epic meeting happened on 8 January?" Pais asked.

The reference to the 8 January meeting is an alleged meeting held between Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi and Tahir Hussain in 2020. In this meeting the alleged conspiracy was held. Pais said that the statement relied upon to make this allegation has been inconsistent and is fabricated.

Pais said that first he said there was no meeting, then he said there was a meeting, then a meeting which he attended and another for which he sat outside.

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Allegations Drawn from JNU 2016 Episode 'Unsubstantiated'

Pais said that the police had relied on unsubstantiated allegations from the JNU 2016 episode to make a case in the charge sheet filed under FIR 59.

"What happened in 2016 was that there was a poetry session. It was later termed as sedition. Nowhere was it ever alleged that "Bharat tere tukde honge' was said by Umar Khalid."
Pais told the court.

He said there was not one court order or charge sheet where this allegation is made. Pais goes on to read statements from the 2016 case chargesheet to make his case.

'Police Giving Communal Narrative to Anti-CAA Protests'

Pais said that the police was consistently trying to give the CAA protests a communal colour. Pais said that opposing CAA showed one believed in the secularism of the country, however any opposition to CAA was painted to be communally motivated.

"This is the danger. And now your honour will see who is communal. When you add things in chargesheet and newsrooms carry it, who communalised the issue? Not us, but the police."
"Of course there was a nation wide protest against CAA. Which statement establishes that everything was identifiable from a particular community? There is no such statement. It was a secular protest. It sounds like a secular opposition to CAA is wrong."

He goes on to speak about the participation of women.

Is women protesting wrong? Or are they incapable of protesting? Does the movement of any sort only driven by men?

The arguments will continue on 6 September.

(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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