Supreme Court judge Justice P.K. Mishra on Wednesday withdrew from hearing a petition for bail filed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case linked to the February 2020 Delhi riots case.
The lead judge on the Division Bench, Justice A.S. Bopanna, referred the case back to the Chief Justice of India for listing it before another Bench of the Supreme Court on August 17.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for Mr. Khalid, has been repeatedly pointing out in court that his client has been in jail for over two years. A hearing on his plea for personal liberty should not be delayed any longer.
Mr. Khalid is accused of being part of a “larger conspiracy” behind the communal violence.
The Delhi High Court had in October last year refused to grant bail to Mr. Khalid, saying he was in constant touch with other co-accused and allegations against him were prima facie true.
The High Court had said the acts of the accused prima facie qualified as “terrorist act” under the UAPA. The High Court had said the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests “metamorphosed into violent riots”, which “prima facie seemed to be orchestrated at the conspiratorial meetings”, and the statements of the witnesses indicate Mr. Khalid’s “active involvement” in the protests.