Umar Khalid not an exception to rule of law in India: Former judges

New Delhi, Sep 22, 2020-

Former judges have hit out at civil society activists for attempting to scuttle the normal process of administration of justice in Umar Khalid case and “throwing a spanner” in the process of law in respect of Delhi riots.

Without taking names, the group of former judges said a set of people, wrongly claiming themselves as sole representatives of the civil society, are attempting to scuttle the normal process of administration of justice in Umar Khalid case.

“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,” said the hard-hitting statement.

“Freedom of expression does not 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 misguided elements. Law must take its own course. Umar Khalid is not an exception to the Rule of Law in India,” they added.

The former judges said they never miss any chance to denigrate the sacred institutions of Indian democracy, such as the Supreme Court, the Election Commission, and the Parliament. “They seem to suffer from a wishful thinking that all the Constitutional institutions as well as the executive authorities created by the law must function in accordance with their whims and fancy, which clearly portray their inherent lack of respect for India, and what it stands for,” they added.

“It is noted with deep concern and regret that persons having held responsible position and despite being well aware of the process of investigation and trial, are throwing spanners in the process of law in respect of Delhi Riots, where layers after layers of anti-national activities are getting exposed,” the former judges said.

“In case of interrogation of Mr 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 collected during investigation, which may include custodial investigation in certain cases,” they added.

“If an accused has to seek bail, there are well settled procedures for that, which does not include any third party trying to pressurise and browbeat the legal systems through irresponsible statements in the media,” they said.

The group said they are “keenly noticing a partisan agenda-based disruptive narrative, which is being consistently produced by a handful of persons who themselves have held responsible constitutional positions, supporting nefarious attempts to disrupt the institutions involved in investigation of crime and the process of justice”.

The signatories to the statement include Justice B.C. Patel, former Chief Justice, J&K and Delhi High Court; Justice K.R Vyas, former Chief Justice, Mumbai High Court; Justice Permod Kohli, former Chief Justice Sikkim High Court and Chairman CAT; Justice S.M.Soni, former Judge, Gujarat High Court and Lokayukt of Gujarat; Justice Ambadas Joshi, former Judge, Mumbai High Court; Justice S.N. Dhingra, former Judge, Delhi High Court; Justice Ashok Hinchigeri, former Judge, Karnataka High Court; Justice Dhiren Karia, former Judge, Gujrat High Court; Justice Rajendra Prasad, former Judge, Patna High Court; Justice Sunil Hali, former Judge, Allahabad High Court; Justice Prashant Kumar Agarwal, former Judge, Rajasthan High Court; Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore, former Judge, Rajasthan High Court; and Justice Sarvesh Kumar Gupta, former Judge, Uttarakhand High Court.  (Agency)

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