Delhi riots case: Umar Khalid claims chargesheet leaked to media, says 'vicious campaign' run against him
Khalid said that his lawyers hadn't received a copy of chargesheet till 4 Jan, but that the media had reported on Delhi Police's charge of conspiracy against him in the last week of December 2020
Former JNU student Umar Khalid on Monday accused the media of running a "vicious campaign" against him and claimed that it is hampering a free and fair trial in the UAPA case against him.
Khalid, who has been charged under the stringent UAPA in a Delhi riots case, also questioned how the media had access to the chargesheet before his counsel was given a copy of the document by the court.
Khalid and his lawyers claimed that certain sections of the media have "repeatedly" reported from the "supplementary chargesheet under FIR 101", The Quint reported.
On Monday, Khalid said that his lawyers, Trideep Pais, Sanya Kumar and Rakshanda Deka, had not received a copy of the chargesheet till 4 January, but the media had reported on the Delhi Police's charge of conspiracy against him in the last week of December 2020.
"I am saying with absolute dismay that this pattern of media reporting on the chargesheet before the accused get a copy of it, is prejudicial to the trial. 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. I am well aware that these confessional statements are not admissible in court, but there is 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," Khalid was quoted as saying in court on Monday.
"Complete lack of ethics, media reports not using the world 'alleged' while reporting, but bigger question is how chargesheet is reaching media. Please ask the Investigating Officer," He was further quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Khalid has been named as an accused in a case in connection with the violence that erupted in Delhi in February 2020, which led to the deaths of over 50 people. In its nearly 100-page chargesheet against Khalid, the Delhi Police reportedly claimed that Khalid had "conspired" to fuel the riots with other accused and former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain.
With inputs from PTI
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