Umar Khalid

On July 28, 2022, Senior Advocate Trideep Pais appearing for Dr. Umar Khalid continued to make his submissions with respect to the bail plea filed by him, challenging the order passed by the Trial Court denying him bail in connection with the case involving charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), in the larger conspiracy case about the February 2020 Delhi violence.

Before the Court vacation, the Delhi High Court bench comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar had heard the submissions by Dr. Umar Khalid over the span of four to five days and concluded his arguments on Thursday. The Court has posted the matter for hearing on August 1 when Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad shall be granted an opportunity to make his submission on behalf of the State.

Senior Advocate Pais submitted that mere membership of Whatsapp groups, as alleged by the prosecution, cannot make Khalid criminally liable when nothing objectionable was attributed to him, reported LiveLaw. He reportedly argued, “The fact that I was part of two WhatsApp groups, out of five cited against me in which I remained silent, cannot make me criminally liable. I am not saying there was anything criminal in those groups. I am not an administrator, I am merely member of the group. Admins are someone else. Nothing else objectionable is attributed to me. If someone else has said something, that can’t be put at my door.” With respect to the three out of five groups where Khalid was not a silent member, Pais submitted that only four messages were sent in the entirety of Whatsapp chats attributed against him in which there was neither any incitement nor call for violence.

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