New Delhi: Several accused, booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a North-East Delhi violence case, claimed before a court here on Tuesday that they had not been given access to the charge sheet in jail despite its orders.
Some of the other accused, who have got the access to it, sought the court's directions to the jail authorities for a uniform time limit, preferably more than an hour a day, for reading the bulky 18,000-page charge sheet on the computer system in prison.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat has put up the matter for further hearing on February 2.
During the hearing held through video conferencing, accused Khalid Saifi, Shifa Ur-Rehman, and Shadab Ahmed claimed that the charge sheet has been uploaded in the jail computer as per the court's orders but they have not been given access to it.
“Police officials have uploaded the charge sheet in the computer but the jail authorities have not given me access to it,” said Saifi who is lodged in Mandoli prison.
Rehman, lodged in Tihar jail, said the prison authorities did not inform him till date that the charge sheet has been uploaded and he can get read it.
Suspended AAP Councillor and co-accused Tahir Hussain claimed he has not been able to read the charge sheet as the computer system was always occupied.
Hussain also sought that he be given access to a pen drive containing the charge sheet so that he can go to the library and read it.
The court even expressed displeasure when it came to light that all the accused were not being given a uniform time slot for reading the charge sheet.
Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid submitted he had been given three hours some day while one hour the next day for reading the charge sheet.
“Besides the availability of computer system and the fact that it varies from jail to jail, it also depends on the official on duty as to for how much time we will be given access to the computer. It is my request that some standard time can be provided, which is more than an hour a day as the charge sheet is about 18,000 pages,” Khalid claimed.
While JNU student Sharjeel Imam claimed he has been given two hours to read the charge sheet, former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan said she was given one hour and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha said he has been given access to the computer for half an hour only.
When the judge asked the Tihar jail authorities, who was present during the video conferencing, about the concerns raised by the accused, he failed to give any answer.
“What's the point of uploading it on the computer if the accused cannot access it?... Why are they given different time slots?” the judge remarked.
The court had earlier directed the police to upload the soft copy of the charge sheet to the computer in jail after the accused contended that it was difficult to discuss the bulky document during the half-hour legal interview with their lawyers.
Communal violence had broken out in Northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.