The hearing on these appeals including one preferred by the State against bail granted to Ishrat Jahan was listed on Monday at 4 PM. The appeals have been filed by Abdul Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Gulfisa Fatima, Saleem Khan, Shifa Ur Rehman and Sharjeel Imam.
On the other hand, the appeal of Umar Khalid has been rejected.
A Special Bench headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul on Friday said that they will take a call to hear all appeals, as it would take a lot of time to conclude all these. The court also said that it may transfer the appeals to a roaster bench.
The bench was dealing with the appeal filed by Abdul Khalid Saifi against the order of the Karkardooma Court refusing bail to him.
Justice Mridul said “We never heard any of these appeals earlier. This is a special bench and we never heard any of these. We can’t conclude these appeals by hearing them only on Friday post lunch. We will take a call on whether these appeals would be heard by this special bench. In order to conclude the hearing will have to devote some time every day. We will take a call on this,” he added.
Justice Mridul was informed that the appeal filed by Sharjeel Imam is also pending before the court, to which he said that they had never heard the appeal on behalf of Sharjeel Imam.
Earlier on October 15, the special bench dismissed the appeal of Umar Khalid against the trial court order denying bail to him.
On July 11, another bench of the Delhi High court transferred the bail matter of Khalid Saifi, an accused in a larger conspiracy case of North East Delhi riots, before the special bench hearing the connected bail matters.
Advocate Rajat Kumar, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted that it is an appeal against the trial court order in a riot-related matter and other connected matters are pending before the special bench. So this matter should be listed before the same bench.
The High Court on May 9, earlier this year, issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi on an appeal of Khalid Saifi, an accused in a larger conspiracy connected with the northeast Delhi violence challenging a trial court order refused bail to him.
Saifi was booked under UAPA by the Delhi Police. It was alleged that Khalid Saifi was one of the main organizers of the Khureji Protest site which was near Badi Masjid in the Khureji area.
The Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar on May 9, 2022, had issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi and listed the matter for July 11, 2022. Then the bench was changed and the matter was listed before the other bench.
Appearing for Khalid Saifi, Senior Advocate Rebecca John submitted that “My case is different from other appeals pending before this court in the related case. Let me be different even if that has to be delayed. Let those be over. Let me show how my case is different.”
Earlier Trial Court’s Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dismissed the bail plea saying, “I am of the opinion that allegations against the accused Khalid Saifi are prima facie true.”
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, counsel for the accused had argued that the accused Khalid Saifi has been falsely implicated in this case and the entire case of the prosecution is unsubstantiated without any evidence to link with the communal riots of 2020.
It was also argued that the accused Khalid Saifi is a businessman by profession and runs a travel agency. He is also a social activist. There is no evidence on record to suggest that the accused gave any provocative speech so as to instigate anyone to commit any act of violence.
Senior Advocate had argued that the reliance of the prosecution on a WhatsApp group called DPSG would show the peripheral participation of the accused in the said group. Nothing in the group or in the accused’s participation in the group is suggestive of any criminal conspiracy.
While, the Counsel for the accused further argued that as per the prosecution, funding was provided to him between December 2019 and February 26, 2020 for orchestrating riots in Delhi. It was argued that the accused was receiving money from Naseef Abdul Kareem in his NGO bank account not just in 2020 but since 2018. The statement of Abdul Majid, a Trusty of the New Education Welfare Organisation, NGO, is inherently false.
On the other hand, opposing the bail the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad had argued that there is sufficient material on record to establish that the accusation against the accused Khalid Saifi is prima facie true and hence the bail application may be dismissed.
SPP Amit Prasad had submitted that Khalid Saifi was a member of the WhatsApp group DPSG, CAB Team, and United Against Hate (UAH) Okhla. Khalid Saifi also attended a meeting at 6/6 Jangpura, Bhogal, Delhi on 8 December 2019 attended by Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and others. He also attended the meeting on 26 December 2019 at Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Colony, Delhi after which DPSG was created on 28 December 2019.
According to the statement of Saturn, on January 8, 2020, a meeting between Umar Khalid, Tahir Hussain, and Khalid Saifi took place at the PFI office, Shaheen Bagh, Delhi.
In northeast Delhi, large-scale violence broke out in February 2020. In this violence, 53 people died and hundreds were injured according to the police. (ANI)