Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid withdraws bail plea from SC

New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed as ‘withdrawn’ the bail plea of former JNU scholar and activist Umar Khalid arrested in connection with the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case.

Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid withdrew his bail plea from the Apex Court due to “changed circumstances”. A bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal allowed his plea and dismissed the petition as withdrawn.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Khalid, said that the petition is being withdrawn in view of “change in circumstances” and we will seek bail afresh before the trial court. “so we wish to withdraw’.

There has been a change in circumstances, ‘we will try our luck in the trial court,’ Sibal said.

Sibal however clarified that he will argue the separate writ petition filed by Khalid challenging the constitution validity of the provisions of UAPA. Khalid has been behind bars since September 2020, awaiting his trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged involvement in the larger conspiracy surrounding the communal violence that broke out in February 2020 in Delhi.

The Delhi High Court denied him bail in October 2022. The former JNU student has also filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenging various provisions of the anti-terror law. The top court tagged this plea with earlier petitions filed challenging the constitutionality of UAPA provisions.

A notice was issued to the Police by the Supreme Court on May 18 and then again on July 12 in which the Delhi police sought more time to file a counter-affidavit. After that Khalid’s case has seen many adjournments.

The matter was adjourned on January 24 also on the grounds that a special bench was constituted to hear another matter.

The matter was slated to be heard January 31, February 1, and February 7, but saw adjournments on these days as well. Kapil Sibal was engaged with a Constitution Bench hearing.

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