Charges against Khalid reads like script of web series, his lawyer tells court

Pais said the charge sheet makes hyperbolic allegations against his client without any factual basis. Drawing parallels between the statements carried in the charge sheet and the villain of Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, Pais stated that the final report filed by the police was “rubbish”.
Khalid, along with several others, was booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in orchestrating the northeast Delhi riots of 2020. (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Khalid, along with several others, was booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in orchestrating the northeast Delhi riots of 2020. (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 04, 2021 02:39 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid, who is seeking bail in the conspiracy case of the north-east Delhi riots, on Friday told a Delhi court that the charge sheet filed against him “read like the script of a popular web series or the 9pm TV news” and was a result of the “fertile imagination of the police officer who drafted it”.

Senior advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid, told additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat, “It reads like the 9pm TV news on channels. Those news channels say anything they want. They want to give something a slant like this, they will do so. They have absolutely no responsibility.”

Khalid, along with several others, was booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in orchestrating the north-east Delhi riots of 2020, which claimed 53 lives and left over 400 injured.

Pais said the charge sheet makes hyperbolic allegations against his client without any factual basis. Drawing parallels between the statements carried in the charge sheet and the villain of Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, Pais stated that the final report filed by the police was “rubbish”.

Referring to a line in the charge sheet which said, “Khalid kept a safe distance from Delhi as he knew that Delhi would be thrown into the fire”, Pais said the only way the police officer could have known this was if “he was inside Khalid’s mind”.

“The last person who got into a person’s mind was Voldemort in Harry Potter. This police officer must have been inside his (Khalid’s) mind to have known this…The charge sheet is the result of the fertile imagination of the police officer who drafted it and the witnesses who were procured. He is not writing the script of Family Man (web series on Amazon Prime), this is a charge sheet,” Pais said.

He said there was nothing in Khalid’s speeches that led to lawless action, sedition, hatred, or illegality of any sort.

“This charge sheet is not a charge sheet. It is an exercise in pamphleteering and defaming people and brushing them with the colour of criminality when there isn’t any,” the senior advocate said.

Pais contended that “witness statements are being fabricated” and not a single witness had testified against Khalid.

“Not a single witness says that Umar Khalid, Yogender Yadav agreed to use social media and mobilisation of youth to protest and cause a chakka jaam (blockade)... No press release, no pamphlets, no joint social media post were made by these people. If there is no basis for these facts and you put it in your charge sheet, and newsrooms carried it day in and day out, who communalised this country? Not me, it is the police,” Pais said.

“One of the biggest theories is that there was a conspiracy on January 8. The protected witness, Saturn, either speaks under pressure or with a forked tongue,” Pais told the court adding that the protected witness has “made a different, inconsistent statement in another FIR”, and the person’s statements cannot be taken seriously.

Pais said several statements carried in the charge sheet cannot be relied upon while considering the bail plea and read out another line, which said, “Umar Khalid, a veteran of sedition”.

“There is no way these statements are consistent with each other and meet the test (of criminality) under UAPA,” he added.

The matter will be heard next on September 6, 2021.

Delhi Police recently said Khalid’s bail plea had no merit and that it will demonstrate before the court the prima facie case against Khalid by referring to the charge sheet.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022