- Apprentice Lawyer
A Delhi Court on Tuesday directed that soft copy of the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in the 2020 Delhi riots cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act be provided to all the accused persons in jail (State vs Tahir Hussain).
The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat following an application moved by accused, Umar Khalid.
Without prejudice to the stand that hard copy of the chargesheet should be supplied by the prosecution to accused, Khalid prayed for access to the soft copy of the same in jail.
Khalid, who was present from jail through video conference, told the court that inaccessibility of the chargesheet was in violation of his right to fair trial.
Appearing for Khalid, advocate Trideep Pais, added that in the 30 minute-legal interview granted to him, it was not possible to discuss the content of the chargesheet as the same time had to be utilised in arriving at their legal strategy.
It was added that allowing access to chargesheet would also result in effective instructions.
The request was not opposed by the Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad who stated that similar arrangement could be made in all jails for all accused persons.
The Court noted that although a soft copy of the chargesheet has already been provided to counsel for all the accused persons, the request made by Khalid was raised by all accused.
In view of absence of objections from the prosecution, the court ordered,
"..directions are given to provide soft copy of the chargehseet to all accused persons expect Devangana Kalita to whom the e-chargesheet in form of pendrive has already been provided. Let soft copy of the chargesheet in form of pendrive be supplied by the IO/Prosecution to all the concerned Jail Superintendents who may upload the same on the computer which may then be made accessible to all the accused persons for study of the chargesheet."
Vide the same order, the court has also extended the judicial custody of all accused persons, including Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, till January 19.