New Delhi: The Delhi police on Tuesday agreed to allow JNU student activist Umar Khalid to access an e-copy of a chargesheet filed against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on the jail computer.
A Delhi metropolitan magistrate had directed the police regarding the same after Khalid’s counsel submitted an appeal, which says it was difficult to discuss the legal strategy and the 17,000-page charge sheet during the allowed half an hour legal interview.
This development comes after media reports claimed that the JNU alum had allegedly admitted to “conspiring to fuel” riots in Delhi. Khalid appeared in court via a video conference from Tihar jail and expressed doubts over charge sheet leaks.
He went on to ask how the media managed to access the supplementary charge sheets filed against him while he hasn’t been able to get his hands on them.
Earlier, News18 ran a report alleging that Umar Khalid had confessed to conspiring riots in Delhi, based on a charge sheet filed against him on the Khajuri Khas violence case. Delhi police filed the chargesheet on December 26 but as of Monday, neither Khalid nor his lawyers were provided with a copy.
Khalid during the video conference said, “I’m noting with absolute dismay this pattern which has emerged of the conduct of Delhi Police, which is prejudicial to a fair trial. To date, I have not received the charge sheet but in the last few days, the media has been given access to it.”
Khalid also expressed concerns over the media trial that could lead to his public condemnation. The hearing on the application was scheduled for Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the court directed the Delhi police to provide Khalid with an e-copy that can be accessed on the jail computer. Advocate Trideep Pais, who is representing Khalid, said that this relief is similar to the one provided to Devangana Kalita, who has also been charged under UAPA.
During the hearing, Sharjeel Imam, also one of the accused, requested that such relief must be provided to all the co-accused persons. He further stated that he was in jail when the riots happened and that he had no role in the conspiracy, reported Live Law.
Another co-accused Athar Khan raised concerns over abysmal quarantine conditions after every medical consulting. He said that he wasn’t allowed to meet his counsel.
The court took notice of all the serious concerns raised by the accused and adjourned the hearing to 19 January. Further, the court extended the judicial custody of all accused including Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and others arrested under stringent sections UAPA in connection with North-East Delhi violence, until January 19.