On Friday, Delhi court has directed the Jail Superintendent to ensure that the former JNU student Leader Umar Khalid, who was arrested on midnight of 14 September in connection with alleged conspiracy pertaining to Delhi riots, was allowed to move out of his cell and should be treated like other prisoners.
Earlier, Khalid has requested to provide books and warm clothes. On Khalid’s request the court also allowed books and warm clothes in wake of the impending winter season.
On hearing of an Application by Delhi Police for extension of Khalid’s remand for 30 days. The court has given directions and allowed the judicial remand which has been extended till 20th November, 2020.
In the last hearing, Umar Khalid was produced virtually before the court and had informed the learned Judge Amitabh Rawat that the jail authorities are not allowing him to step out of his cell and he is being kept in solitary confinement. Accordingly, the judge sought for the appearance of the Jail Superintendent in the next hearing.
Subsequently on Friday’s hearing, the jail superintendent informed the court that rules and regulations were being followed and also said that former JNU student leader Umar Khalid was not being confined to his cell in the grab of security being provided to him.
During hearing, the Khalid’s Advocate Trideep Pais has stated that “Covid-19 is for everybody. Umar Khalid is not to be treated with any discrimination and that is what is happening here. Is he a zoo animal on display that others can see him and he can see them? Why can’t he be treated as a normal person?” As the jail authorities is not allowing him to move freely out of his cell.
Upon hearing, the Judge then enquired about the timings pertaining to cell being open, to which the Jail Superintendent was submitted that “the cells were kept open from sunrise to 12 and then from 3 to sunset daily.”
Then the judge asked to Khalid whether he was allowed out of his cell to which he submitted that, “After I brought the grievance before the court, I was allowed outside. The Superintendent came to meet me and he himself brought me out. But, before that, there were long periods when I was not allowed out. There was in fact an order which stated that I would not be allowed at all. But after yesterday, things have gotten better.” He also informed the court that the Superintendent had insured that he would be allowed out for some time as the reaction of other prisoners need to be gauged.
Observing this, the Judge has asked the superintendent to personally take a stock of the situation and to ensure that the same should not be repeated. He further stated that he would pass the order binding on the Superintendent submissions of today.