NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court, which last month termed activist Umar Khalid’s speech at Maharashtra’s Amravati in February 2020 as “offensive, obnoxious and hateful”, Today High Court said that the Umar Khalid’s speech might be distasteful but did not amount to terrorist activity. The speech forms part of the charge sheet filed against Khalid in the larger conspiracy case related to the northeast Delhi riots.
“That the speech is in bad taste does not make it terrorist activity. We understand that extremely well. If the case of the prosecution is premised on how offensive the speech was, that by itself will not constitute an offence. We will give them [prosecution] an opportunity. Offensive and distasteful it was. It may be tantamount to defamation. It may tantamount to other offences but it does not amount to terrorist activity,” said a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar.
The court has been hearing Khalid’s appeal for bail in the case since last month and on more than one occasion has disagreed with the language the former JNU student leader had used in his speech with respect to the prime minister.
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