Attempt to browbeat the legal system on Umar Khalid, say Judges in anguish

25th September 2020

25th September 2020

Image: Courtesy Outlook

Activist student Umar Khalid has some celebrities coming out in support of him after he has been arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the riots in February but it has led to a very strong reaction from India’s former judges, including chief justices of High Courts.

“We are a group of former judges, keenly noticing a partisan agenda-based disruptive narrative which is being consistently produced by a handful of persons…supporting nefarious attempts to disrupt the institutions involved in investigation of crime and the process of justice,” the judges have said in a statement. (below are the names and designation of the 15 judges who have decided to take the bull by the horns, so to speak).

“Umar Khalid, never misses any chance to denigrate the sacred institutions of Indian democracy, such as the Supreme court, Election Commission of India, Parliament of India,” wrote Judges, yet they (this group) prefers “throwing spanner in respect of the Delhi riots.”

The judges wrote that “layers after layers of anti-national activities are getting exposed” yet they want to “browbeat the legal systems through irresponsible statements to the media.”

“A new premise is espoused wherein some allegedly disruptive elements are being put on a pedestal which assumes above the law of the land, amidst the chorus of anarchy staged by the same supporting group patting those who stand for disintegration of India.

“Freedom of expression doesn’t include any freedom to instigate, participate or conspire to commit any crime. Freedom also does not give amnesty from legal consequences of criminality.

“National integration cannot be sacrificed at the altar of wishfully dis-integrative romanticism of the misjudged elements. Law must take its course. Umar Khalid is not an exception for the rule of law in India.”

The judges sounded exasperated that the judiciary of the country is being hindered to arrive at a judgment based on the evidence.

“In case of interrogation of Umar Khalid, they need to understand and appreciate that ultimately, it is the judiciary of the country where the allegations will have to be proved by the prosecution on the basis of evidence.

If an accused has to seek bail, there are well-settled procedures for that.

“Glorify crime against the State, blocking the due process of law, affecting peace and tranquility of the citizens of India, creating a wedge in the social fabric of the nation, and indirectly striking at the roots of national integration”, couldn’t be ignored.

On Thursday, celebrities like Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Mira Nair and Salman Rushdie had come out in support of Umar Khalid.

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