How’s the media getting copy of charge sheet before the accused: Umar Khalid

Umar Khalid has moved court complaining of a leak of information and media trial, says it is affecting his right to a free and fair trial


For the second time, human rights defender Dr. Umar Khalid has moved court, complaining of a leak of information and media trial. Accused under draconian anti-terrorism provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Dr. Khalid and his lawyers moved court on January 4 and put on their record concerns regarding a ‘vicious media campaign’ against him.

According to a report in The Quint they have stated that while the media continues to report from Delhi Police Crime Branch’s supplementary charge sheet under FIR 101, the accused Khalid and his legal team are yet to be supplied a copy of it, even till January 4. However, they stated that the media has been reporting on it regularly, according to the news report, Umar Khalid told the court, “I am saying with absolute dismay that this pattern of media reporting on the charge sheet before the accused get a copy of it, is prejudicial to the trial. Please ask the prosecution and the investigating officer how is it that the media is getting a copy of the charge sheet before the accused is. The media says that in my confessional statements (disclosure statements) I have admitted to my role in the riots, how does that make sense when I gave it in writing that I had not signed any statement while in police custody on 4 October. I am well aware that these confessional statements are not admissible in court, but there is an obvious pattern of selected disclosure statements being leaked, so keeping that in mind I request you ask the Investigating Officer how this is being leaked again and again. This is affecting my right to a free and fair trial.”

His friend Banojyotsna had shared a copy of the FIR in October.

Khalid’s advocate Trideep Pais, told the court, “I submitted to the learned duty magistrate that immediately upon the charge sheet being filed, we have experienced that a vicious media campaign starts. Immediately after the charge sheet the media started saying that Umar Khalid had admitted to the riots, to mobilising people, to bring in women as a front, arranged guns etc. However, when you read the same charge sheet you will know that the accused they talk of was not even present in Delhi,” reported TQ.

Umar told the court, “I am repeating this, I have already told the court I did not sign any statement. These attempts show that the prosecution is themselves not confident of the evidence against me and want to start a media trial.” The application was submitted on January 3 to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar’s court, the next hearing is  listed for January 5. 

Khalid had earlier moved court with the same concern on November 28, when FIR 59 the police’s supplementary charge sheet, against Khalid’s alleged role was reported on by several media houses. According to the report, Khalid’s lawyers were given a copy of that charge sheet on November 28. 


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