On Wednesday (04 December, 2020), Delhi Court granted bail to Khalid Saifi who is an activist in ‘United Against Hate’, in a case related to the Northeast Delhi riots in February this year.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma Court observed that, “ In my humble opinion, chargesheeting the applicant in this case on the basis of such an insignificant material is total non-application of mind by the police which goes to the extent of vindictiveness”.
This observance was made while referring to oral evidence relied upon by the Delhi police to allege that Khalid Saifi was a part of the conspiracy behind the Delhi riots. The witness had told the police that Saifi was seen dropping off Tahir Hussain who was accused of murder of Ankit Sharma, IB Officer outside a building on February 27 after that he had seen Saifi and Umar Khalid going into the building.
On this, the Judge observed that,
“The sole evidence of the so called conspiracy is a statement of PW Rahul Kasana, wherein he stated on 27.09.2020 that he was standing outside a building in the area of Shaheen Bagh, where he had dropped principal accused Tahir Hussain and thereafter he saw applicant and Umar Khalid going into the same building. I fail to understand from the aforesaid statement how a lofty claim a conspiracy can be inferred”.
The Court noted that if Tahir Hussain, the principal accused, was moved by the Saifi in the meeting, then he should have also been the co-accused in ten other cases like Hussain, “which is not the case”. It also noted that it has been nowhere the case of the prosecution that Saifi was physically present at the crime scene on that particular day as he has not been seen in any CCTV footage or any viral videos of the matter.
Khalid Saifi was roped into the matter on the basis of his disclosure and fourth disclosure statement of co-accused Tahir Hussain. There has been no recovery of any sort which has been effected from the Saifi pursuant to his disclosure statement. The Court further noted that, the matter is complete and the chargesheet has been also filed.
The Court said that, “The trial in the matter is likely to take long time. The applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail of infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who are part of the riotious mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter”.
Khalid Saifi was arrested on February 26, 2020 in a case registered at Jagatpuri police station in relation to the Delhi riots. Later he was arrested on March 24 in the FIR no. 59/2020 which is registered by the Delhi Police Special Cell for larger conspiracy behind Delhi riots. On June 6, he was arrested on the account of the present case.The FIR was filed under the offences relating to unlawful assembly, rioting, destruction of public and private properties at Khajuri Khas. Saifi was granted bail on furnishing bail bond of Rs.20,000 with one surety of like amount.
Ld. Sr. Adv. Ms. Rebecca John along with Advs, Shri Bhavook Chauhan, Shri Rajat Kumar, Shri Harsha Bora, Ms. Pravita Kashyap, Shri Tushar Yadav and Shri Syed Atif represented Khalid Saifi. Ld. Special PP Shri Manoj Chaudhary appeared for the State along with IO, Inspector Sunil Kumar and ACP Pankaj.