Delhi riots: Bail plea of Sharjeel Imam, others to be re-heard as judge moves
The bail pleas have been listed for hearing separately on different dates starting 15 January
The bail pleas of Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi and other accused persons in connection with the Delhi riots conspiracy case in Delhi High Court will have to be reheard because the judge who had reserved the case for judgement has been elevated as chief justice of Manipur High Court. The bail pleas have been listed for hearing separately on different dates starting 15 January.
Bail pleas were filed by Imam, Saifi, Gulfisha Fatima, Meeran Haider, Shadab Ahmed, Athar Khan, Shifa ur Rehman and Salim Khan. Delhi Police’s appeal seeking cancellation of bail granted to the accused and ex-Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan will also be heard by the bench.
A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Shailender Kaur will begin hearing the appeals from January 2024 in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case linked to the alleged larger conspiracy behind the 2020 communal riots in Delhi.
A bench headed by Justice Kait was informed on Wednesday by the counsel for the accused as well as the Delhi Police that the matters will have to be heard afresh as the verdict in at least three bail pleas were reserved by a special bench headed by Justice Siddarth Mridul. Now, the appeals will have to be re-argued.
"The matter has been pending for over a year. Now it has to be re-heard," said senior advocate Rebecca John, who was appearing on behalf of one of the accused before the present bench, which also included Justice Kaur.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad submitted that all cases deal with the conspiracy behind the riots, and different roles have been attributed to different accused.
The special bench comprising Justices Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar had in October last year denied bail to accused Umar Khalid in the case. Delhi Police’s Special Cell is probing FIR 59 of 2020, in which all of them have been named as conspirators. The case has been registered under various offences under the Indian Penal Code and UAPA.
The accused in the case are Tahir Hussain, Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, Isharat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd. Saleem Khan, Athar Khan, Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, Faizan Khan and Natasha Narwal.