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Recent comments by multiple persons on the adjournment of Umar Khalid’s bail hearing by four weeks in Supreme Court today are very telling. Justice being delayed and denied is the common narrative being peddled and courts orchestrating this denial and delay on purpose is the symphony.. and it really sells in the not so liberal circles… fetching outreach.
Factually speaking, it has been over 1000 days, since Umar Khalid, a UAPA accused has been behind bars, for his alleged role in the larger conspiracy behind Delhi riots of 2020, in which 53 people died and hundreds were left injured, maimed and out of work due to the destruction of their properties.
Today, when a Supreme Court bench told Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appears for Umar Khalid that this case will require minute examination of documents, the senior lawyer readily agreed to have the case listed on another date. It was then that the bench pointed out that the case required a glossary of documents. This effectively meant that it should have been filed by the petitioner. The bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi said that there are charge sheets that have already been filed and the petitioner should lay out on paper, firstly, which allegation they are negating and why.
The Senior lawyer said that the document was necessary. It was here that the court immediately posted the case after four weeks, to which Khalid’s lawyer recorded no objection whatsoever.
News portals reported this as a headline - that Khalid's bail hearing has been adjourned again, this time for four weeks, as is usually done in this case – for reasons unknown. Assumptions as to why this happens repeatedly can however be drawn. This includes promotion of a radical left narrative – every authority is against citizens. But for the really rabid, this template is a fixed one – that all authorities are against Muslims and this is why Umar Khalid is in jail. No other context needed. Forget that the trial court has repeatedly found enough incriminating evidence against Khalid. It also need not be mentioned that the Court has pointed out specifics about his alleged role due to this incriminating evidence and words like “the role of the accused Umar Khalid in the context of conspiracy and riots is apparent” are in the court order. Regardless, the disclaimer remains - it doesn't justify anything unless proven or otherwise. The issue is about the stupidity that sells.
It is not out of place to mention that many chose to completely ignore the fact that yesterday, before a Delhi Court hearing on the point of charge against Umar Khalid and 19 others, including Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi, Safoora Zargar and others, it was the petitioners’ lawyers who sought adjournment because they wanted to file an objection against the prosecution. This, by the way, came 40 days after the order for hearing on the point of charge was passed. So effectively, the accused persons did have 40 days to file their applications.
The only purpose this old template citing “death of democracy” serves is agenda-driven. Everyone already knows that mostly, it is re-manufactured again and again to leave a matchstick out there – so that those who want to sell outreach, can model the facts to suit their masters in a sophisticated manner – with just the right balance, you know, and it should not burn their own. And those who are rabid because they cannot think beyond divisions of religion can create a sense of uneasiness for common folks.
At the cost of being repetitive, why did the dance of democracy not appeal to many, when chargesheets, which are a matter of public record, were reported during the Delhi Riots hearing? It was Khalid Saifi through his lawyer, who had objected to the charge sheet being reported on, praying for them to be taken down. Unfortunately, the prayer was rejected, with courts stating that there was no hindrance at all on reporting upon contents of chargesheet and accompanying material.
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