Delhi court turns down plea to produce activists in handcuffs, fetters


A Delhi Court dismissed the plea of authorities to produce former JNU student Umar Khalid and United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi, arrested in connection with the north-east Delhi riots last year, in “fetters and handcuffs”, noting that they are not previous convicts nor even gangsters.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said, “The applications appear to have been filed in a mechanical manner, without application of mind by the high echelon of Delhi Police and prison authority.”

“The Delhi Prison Rules are silent about the handcuffing and putting fetters upon the prisoners. The accused persons, who are sought to be produced in fetters and handcuffs are admittedly not previous convicts. They are not even gangsters,” the court said.

Pursuant to notices issued by the court on previous hearing, Additional DCP (Special Cell) on May 6 stated that “no such application, seeking to produce both the above named accused in ‘handcuffs in both hands from back side’ is filed by the undersigned before any court or before any other authority”.

Also read: Delhi Court dismisses plea seeking handcuffs for Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi

However, the DCP, 3rd BN, in its reply filed on April 26, stated that in the aftermath of attempt to free under trial prisoner (UTP) Kuldeep alias Fajja from the custody at GTB Hospital on March 25 by armed assailants, it was decided to request the courts for permission to handcuff the high risk or sensitive UTPs who are prone to escape or attempts may be made by their gang members to free them.

“As part of the exercise, the current application for handcuffing UTPs Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi was moved for the consideration of the Court,” the DCP, 3rd BN had stated.

“A joint reading of the stand(s) taken by the aforesaid authorities in their respective replies show that the material on the basis of which the aforesaid applications were filed is devoid of merits. The Delhi Prison Rules are silent about the handcuffing and putting fetters upon the prisoner,” the court said.

“Be that as it may, since now fresh COVID protocols have been notified in Delhi and even the minutes of High Powered Committee dated May 4, 2021 are in place, now the accused persons are not being produced in Court physically, therefore, these application(s) at this stage are not required,” the court added while dismissing the application.



This article was originally published on The Hindu

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