Activist Sharjeel Imam’s lawyers on Friday said that the Delhi High Court made certain observations without hearing their client’s appeal while denying bail to his co-accused Umar Khalid in a case of larger conspiracy to incite the riots that broke out in the national capital in February 2020, Live Law reported.
The lawyers – Talib Mustafa and Ahmad Ibrahim – made the submission while seeking an adjournment on the hearing of Imam’s bail petition.
The Delhi Police have alleged that the February 2020 violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was hatched by those who organised the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
In the order denying bail to Khalid, Imam’s name was mentioned 17 times, according to Live Law. The court had referred to Imam as the “main conspirator” and as someone “who arguably is at the head of the conspiracy [in the case].”
On Friday, Mustafa and Ibrahim told a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar that in view of the observations made in Khalid’s order, Imam wanted to seek further legal advice and explore the possibility of a legal remedy before his bail appeal is heard, Live Law reported.
However, the judges orally remarked that they would allow an adjournment, but seeking legal remedy cannot be put on record as a reason for it.
“We can accommodate you but to say that you are seeking legal advice in another matter cannot be a ground…” Justice Mridul said, according to The Indian Express. “You ask for an adjournment simpliciter that we may consider, but don’t make legal arguments and then ask for an adjournment.”
The court then adjourned the matter till December 16.
On October 18, the Delhi High Court had denied bail to Khalid saying there was no merit in his appeal and that the allegations against Khalid were prima facie true.
Khalid was booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Property Act for allegedly fuelling the riots. He was previously denied bail by the city’s Karkardooma court on March 24, after which he moved to the High Court. He has been in custody since September 13, 2020.