A Delhi court on Monday dismissed an application filed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid, arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, seeking permission to meet his family during police custody.
On September 13, Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Khalid following a case related to the widespread violence which broke out in Delhi’s northeast area in February this year, after which he was sent to police custody for 10 days. His remand period is slated to conclude on September 24.
The former JNU student had knocked on the doors of the court requesting it to allow him to meet his family for two days for a period of 30 minutes each. Khalid’s counsel Trideep Pais informed the court that a verbal assurance was given to them by the police for meeting, but later they were denied permission.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad apprised the court that the meeting could influence the interrogation and pose a hindrance. It was submitted that the accused was already meeting with his counsel and if he has to convey any message to his family members, he may convey that through them.
Prasad further asserted that there is no provision in CrPC for allowing the family of the accused to meet with the accused during his custody remand. He has also submitted that meeting is permissible during judicial custody as per jail rules.
“In the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, I see no merit in the application, and accordingly, the application is dismissed,” the Additional Session Judge noted in an order dated September 19.
Prasad had earlier sought 10 days’ police custody of Khalid to confront him with huge technical data running into 11 lakh pages, “as well as other evidence collected during investigation of present case and also to examine at length about other suspects and various other aspects.”
Khalid is accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy to cause communal unrest by inciting people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens.
Besides this, Khalid is also named in chargesheets filed in various cases over the riots. Communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between CAA supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.