Delhi riots: Court defers hearing against Khalid, Imam in UAPA on cognisance of supplementary charge sheet
A court here on Monday deferred the hearing on the issue of taking cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed against former JNU student Umar Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a case of the north east Delhi riots in wake of a recent order of the Delhi High Court staying trial in the matter.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat reserved the order for Tuesday, saying the court’s order has to be correct in terms of the High Court’s directions.
At the outset, the judge asked the counsels for the accused if the court can take cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet and pass orders for providing its copies to them since the trial has been stayed in the matter. In the supplementary charge sheet filed on Sunday, Imam and Khalid were booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act in the matter.
The High Court had on November 11 stayed the trial of the conspiracy case after a plea was filed by the police challenging the order of the city court directing them to supply physical copies of the charge sheet to all the accused.
It, however, had said the trial court is at liberty to decide any application in the case and put up the matter for further hearing on December 15. During the hearing, some of the advocates for the accused said that the grievance of the prosecutor was with the supply of physical copies of the bulky main charge sheet and so soft copies of the supplementary charge sheet can be supplied now.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, said the prosecution was willing to provide soft copies of the supplementary charge sheet to the accused but the orders have to come from the court.
He, however, said if the court passes any such directions for supply of the charge sheet, then the police can challenge it before the high court.
The trial court had on October 21 refused to grant time to the police to obtain funds’ sanction to provide to the accused hard copies of the voluminous charge sheet and directed to provide the same.
The police has challenged the order before the high court.
The soft copies of the main charge sheet, running over 17,000 pages, have been supplied to 15 accused persons but hard copies were not given to them.
The main charge sheet was filed in September against Pinjra Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and student activist Gulfisha Fatima.
Others who were charge-sheeted included former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik, Mohd Salim Khan and Athar Khan.
Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.