The Supreme Court on Wednesday again adjourned the hearing on a bail plea filed by activist Umar Khalid in the 2020 Delhi riots case, in which he has been incarcerated since September 2020 under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and criminal conspiracy, Live Law reported.
The adjournment came at the joint request of both sides as senior advocate Kapil Sibal representing Khalid and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju for the police were unavailable in court.
The activist had approached the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court denied him bail in October.
The case pertains to clashes that had broken out in North East Delhi from February 23 to February 26, 2020, between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it, leaving 53 dead and hundreds injured. Most of those killed were Muslims.
The Delhi Police have claimed that the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Khalid, arrested by the Delhi Police on September 13, 2020, has sought bail, saying that he had no role in the violence nor any “conspiratorial connect” with other accused persons in the case.
His case first came up before the Supreme Court on May 18 and since then has been adjourned six times for reasons ranging from the police seeking more time to file a counter-affidavit, a judge recusing himself from the hearing, the case being listed on a miscellaneous day and the unavailability of Khalid’s counsel.
On Wednesday, after the two sides sought an adjournment, the bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma decided to schedule the next hearing for December 6, but after being informed that Sibal would not be available on that day as well due to his appearance in a Constitution Bench hearing, they postponed the matter to January 10.
The bench said that along with Khalid’s bail hearing, it will also consider a batch of writ petitions challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, along with Khalid’s bail petition.