A Delhi court on Tuesday agreed to give activist Umar Khalid an e-copy of the chargesheet filed against him in the February riots case, Live Law reported.
“It has been 1.5 months almost, but I still don’t know what the allegations against me are,” Khalid told the court. “This is against my right to a fair trial.” The activist’s lawyer submitted that he got only half an hour to meet Khalid and the chargesheet ran into thousands of pages.
Meanwhile, the court also extended the judicial custody till January 19 of all the accused, including Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and others arrested under stringent sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, according to Bar and Bench.
Imam said that the same relief (e-copy of chargesheet) should be given to all the accused. “While the riots were happening I was in jail, I have no role to play in them,” Imam said, adding that he had spent two months in prison reading media reports and speculating about the charges against him.
Another accused, Athar Khan, said that he was quarantined for 14 days every time he went for medical consulting outside the jail. Khan alleged that during the quarantine period, he was put in an isolated cell where there was little to no light. He added that he was not even allowed to meet his counsel during the period, adding that the jail authorities who went out almost everyday were not quarantined.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad said that there was no concern on Khalid’s plea. He said that a copy of the chargesheet would be given on the jail computer and the activist would have access to it. Prasad added that Khan’s request that the quarantine period be decided by a High Power Committee was being looked into.
On Monday, Khalid had told the court to ask the investigating officer how the supplementary chargesheet filed against him was leaked to the media, when he was yet to get a copy. The activist and his lawyer had also raised concerns on the manner in which a certain section of the media was reporting against him, calling it a “vicious media campaign”.
Khalid was arrested on October 1 in connection with the Delhi riots case. Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and February 26 in North East Delhi, claiming 53 lives and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods.
Khalid was also arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in September in a separate case relating to a larger conspiracy in the violence. The Delhi Police had on November 22 filed a chargesheet against Khalid and student activists Imam and Faizan Khan in the case.
In the 200-page chargesheet, the police claimed that Khalid had “remotely controlled” the Delhi riots. The former JNU student was accused of orchestrating the violence during United States President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi.
The Delhi Police claim the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was planned by those who organised the protests against the amended Citizenship Amendment Act. They also claimed the protestors had secessionist motives and were using “the facade of civil disobedience” to destabilise the government. The police have arrested several activists and students based on these “conspiracy” charges.