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2020 Delhi riots: HC seeks police's clarification on probe completion in 'larger conspiracy' case

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi Police to clarify whether its investigation into the UAPA case, alleging a larger conspiracy in the 2020 riots, is complete or if additional charge sheets are forthcoming.

A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain sought the clarification while hearing the bail plea of accused, United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi. Senior advocate Rebecca John appeared for him.

Recently, the court had also expressed dissatisfaction with lengthy prosecution arguments opposing his bail plea, and the bench now asked Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad to provide clarification on March 4.

The prosecution has filed four supplementary charge sheets in the case till date.

"You will tell us whether a fifth supplementary charge sheet is going to be filed or not," the court told Prasad.

Earlier, the court had directed the Special Public Prosecutor to file a concise compilation defining the role of Saifi and to confine arguments to the same. It had said that it wouldn't read the extensive charge sheet at the bail stage, as doing so would effectively start a trial, which is not permissible.

The bench had remarked that protesting is a right and requested the prosecution to present evidence demonstrating a clear case of violence rather than narrating a lengthy story. It had asked the prosecution to focus on showing the accused's specific role in the events.

In December 2022, a division bench had reserved judgement on the bail pleas of Saifi, Gulfisha Fatima, and other co-accused persons.

These pleas are being reheard following the elevation of Justice Siddharth Mridul, who had initially presided over the case.

Saifi's bail was denied by the trial court in April 2022. In January, a Delhi court had heard arguments from the counsel for co-accused Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, who said that despite four years passing since the FIR's registration, the investigation by Delhi Police in the larger conspiracy case is still pending.

The application seeks clarity on the Delhi Police's investigation in the case before proceeding with arguments on the charges. The accused persons in this case include Tahir Hussain, Umar 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 Narwal.



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