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'Media reporting 'disclosure' despite chargesheet stating I refused to sign'

Media reporting disclosure despite chargesheet stating I refused to sign
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New delhi: A Delhi Court on Thursday sought response from the Delhi Police with regard to the purported leak of the supplementary chargesheet filed against former JNU student Umar Khalid for his alleged role in the north-east Delhi riots to the media even before the accused and his counsel had access to it.

In an earlier hearing before the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar, Khalid had raised issue with the "vicious media campaign" against him where he has been quoted as allegedly admitting to his role of "conspiring to fuel the riots".

Khalid had asked the court to question the Investigating Officer (IO) in the matter as to how the chargesheet was reportedly leaked to the media even before the accused had access to it.

On Thursday, Khalid, referring to the points he raised earlier, said: "On Monday, I pointed out the fact that even before the chargesheet was supplied to me, it was already in the public domain through the media. I got to know from these media reports that the chargesheet makes mention of the fact that I have given a disclosure statement and based on that so-called disclosure statement, the media has reported the fact that I have admitted my role."

Khalid told the court that in the chargesheet, which he has received yesterday, under his disclosure statement, he has "refused to sign, despite that it is leaked and portrayed like this".

He added, "If in any paper it is written 'refused to sign', then anyone can write anything on the paper. I want to say that this is not the first time, it has happened repeatedly. In an unprofessional way, once this is in public domain and then in courtroom…this is a baseless case, I don't plead guilty. When I read these reports, it caused me deep anguish. This is not the first time this has happened and I don't expect it to be the last time on the part of police," he told the court while seeking directions that the same is not repeated again.

Khalid also told CMM Kumar that he hasn't received videos that have been mentioned in the chargesheet and sought directions for them to be provided to him. On this, the court asked the IO to inform the court as to why the videos haven't been provided to the accused. The matter has been posted for further hearing on January 14.

Khalid is being represented by Advocates Trideep Pais, Sanya Kumar and Rakshanda Deka.

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