A Delhi court has dismissed a plea filed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid, who was arrested for his alleged role in the northeast Delhi violence, seeking to meet his family members during police remand.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said, "In the totality of facts and circumstance of the case, I see no merit in the application, and accordingly, the application is dismissed."
The court noted that the counsel for the accused had made a specific request for allowing the meeting time of the accused with his counsel during police custody remand and the same was allowed for every day for 30 minutes during the entire custody remand.
"There was also an apprehension of safety raised by the counsel for the accused and thus a specific direction was also given to the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to ensure the safety of the accused," the court observed.
Umar Khalid, who has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case, was last week sent to 10-day police remand by a Karkardooma court in Delhi. His police custody will end on September 24, when he will be produced before the court.
Umar Khalid's counsel had, during the hearing, said that verbal assurance was given at the time of remand by the police that his family would be allowed to meet during the police remand, however, they are not being permitted to meet with the accused.
He further stated that police custody is extraordinarily long and thus accused should not be deprived of meeting with his family or friends. It is prayed that the applicant be permitted to meet his family on at least two days for a period of 30 minutes each day, the counsel sought.
The counsel had argued that the period for meeting with his family may be interchanged partially with his meeting time. It is further submitted that there is no provision barring the accused to meet with his family, he added.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad had opposed the plea saying that there is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for allowing meetings with the family of the accused during his custody and added that meeting with the counsel has already been allowed.
Mr Prasad submitted that the present application may not be allowed as the accused is already meeting with his counsel and if the accused has to convey any message to his family members, he can convey that through his counsel.
The violence, which took place in the northeast area of the national capital between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act in February this year, led to the deaths of at least 53 people and injuring hundreds of others.