Former JNU student and accused in the conspiracy case of North East Delhi violence of 2020, Dr. Umar Khalid has withdrawn his bail application and filed a new one. This development comes in the backdrop of the prosecution raising the issue of maintainability of co-accused Ishrat Jahan’s bail application after almost 6 months of arguments.
On August 26, Additional Public Prosecutor, Amit Prasad (appearing for Delhi Police) had argued that Jahan’s bail application was not maintainable because it was filed under section 439 (Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail) of the Criminal Procedure Code whereas, the special court can only hear cases filed under section 437, which deals with the provisions of when bail matters may be taken up in case of a non-bailable offence.
As we have previously reported in SabrangIndia, Pradeep Teotia, appearing for Jahan, told the court that the Delhi Police are unnecessarily increasing her period of incarceration and deriving “sadistic pleasure” out of this. Teotia had argued that the State should have highlighted this issue earlier and not wait for six months to pass by. He argued, “This is torture on me also. After taking so much of Court’s time! Then, one should also not seek bail orally. I don’t have any words. Someone has been in jail, the court can’t see if prosecution and defense are fighting like cat and mouse.” He also told the court that this is a trivial issue and that this will not change his prayer, facts of the case or his arguments for bail.
During today’s hearing, Umar Khalid’s lawyer, senior counsel Trideep Pais submitted to the court that he has withdrawn his earlier bail application under section 439 of the CrPC and substituted it with a new one under section 437. He said, “I have moved an application under section 437, and removed section 439. I don’t want it to come in the way. There is no impediment for the court to consider under the relevant provision.”
At this point, the Additional Public Prosecutor, Amit Prasad intervened and said, “I object to what is written in the application. To paint prosecution that it is (using) a dilatory tactic, is something I will have to reply to”. But senior counsel Pais contended that he would like to continue arguing the matter as the facts and the arguments remain the same. He said, “I don’t want to waste a day. My arguments are the same. The Court will take into submission that you are arguing that it is not a dilatory tactic. But let my arguments continue.”
However, Additional Sessions Judge, Amitabh Rawat opined that since a fresh application has been filed in the matter, it would be appropriate to issue a notice and seek the prosecution’s response before proceeding with the hearing. “If an application under section 439 has to be withdrawn and section 437 has to be taken today, I have to get a reply. I haven’t issued a notice in it, I don’t want technical objections later”, he said.
Accordingly, the matter has been adjourned to September 8.