Former JNU student Umar Khalid

The Delhi High Court Friday deferred student activist Umar Khalid’s bail appeal hearing in the larger conspiracy case in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots to May 19.

The division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said the court will hear the bail on a day other than Friday after the counsel representing Khalid submitted that he would take at least two hours to argue the case. The court also said that everything being relied upon by lawyers should be on record.

“In the meantime, the parties are at liberty to place on record all documents that may be considered relevant for effective adjudication of this appeal, within one week from today,” said the court, while adjourning the bail plea.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad earlier had told the court that two bail applications of the same case are pending before the court and the bail application of the third accused may get listed on Monday next week. “Better option would be if I would be allowed to (first) argue the conspiracy so that my lords would get a fair idea of what the entire prosecution case is,” said Prasad.

However, the court asked, “You want it to be a trial? The prosecution opens and then the defence can set in? That makes it easier for the defence. Once you address us, you are limited then all that Mr (Trideep) Pais has to do is pick holes in what your case is. If that is what you want to do, please go ahead. We don’t have a problem.”

Senior advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid, opposed Prasad’s suggestion and termed FIR number 59 a “blackhole” in which everything is dropped. “59 is an FIR which is structured in that way. I will argue my case and let him respond… and let him do what he wants to do with other cases. I don’t want my facts to be obfuscated by others. My role is distinct. My role is non-existent,” said Pais.

However, the court told Pais that the allegations against Khalid are that the accused in the case acted in concert and not that he acted independently. Pais responded that “that can be an effort of the prosecution, I will show that the allegation itself is fictitious”.

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