By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader and activist, Umar Khalid on Monday asked the Delhi police how the supplementary chargesheet under FIR 101 in a case related to the February North East Delhi was leaked to the media which has started a a “vicious media trial” against him. Khalid moved an application through his attorneys in a Delhi court today in this regard and debunked the “confessions” attributed to him in a section of the media. He also asserted that he did not sign any statement.
It is interesting to note that the chargesheet was reportedly filed on December 26 but the defence counsel of Khalid had not got a copy of it until January 4.
“I am saying with absolute dismay that this pattern of media reporting on the charge sheet before the accused get a copy of it is prejudicial to the trial. Please ask the prosecution and the investigating officer how it is that the media is getting a copy of the charge sheet before the accused is. The media says that in my confessional statements (disclosure statements) I have admitted to my role in the riots, how does that make sense when I gave it in writing that I had not signed any statement while in police custody on 4 October,” Khalid reportedly said who was was arrested under FIR 101 on October 1; the second case he is named in under the communal violence in Delhi. The FIR, registered on February 25, is being investigated by the crime branch and pertains to the violence in Khajuri Khas in north-east Delhi
The student leader further pointed out that he was “well aware” that the confessional statements were not admissible in court but added that there was “an obvious pattern of selected disclosure statements being leaked, so keeping that in mind I request you ask the Investigating Officer how this is being leaked again and again. This is affecting my right to a free and fair trial.”
Counsels for Khalid, advocates Trideep Pais, Sanya Kumar and Rakshanda Deka appeared before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar’s court on behalf of him. Pais reportedly told the court that his client was being subjected to a “vicious media campaign” immediately after the charge sheet was leaked.
A section of the media started broadcasting that Khalid had admitted to the riots, to mobilising people, to bring in women as a front, arranged guns etc. However, when you read the same charge sheet you will know that the accused they talk of was not even present in Delhi.”
Khalid also stressed that he had not signed any statement, adding that the “attempts” to carry out a “media trial” were because the prosecution were not “confident” of the evidence against him.
This is the second instance of Khalid moving court to quell a media trial against him. On November 28, his lawyers had moved an application under FIR 59 which said that “access to the charge sheet has been used to unfairly target the Applicant/Accused and run a vilification campaign against him.” Again, Khalid’s lawyers had said that he did not have access to the chargesheet.
In the present FIR 101, the Delhi Police has alleged that Khalid had made damning disclosures in a statement.
The application was reportedly submitted to CJ Magistrate court on January 3 and came up during the hearing on January 4. The matter has been listed for tomorrow on Tuesday.