New Delhi: The Delhi High Court said on Monday that former JNU student Umar Khalid's Amravati speech, though offensive, was not a terrorist act. Khalid was arrested in a UAPA case related to alleged conspiracy behind the riots in February 2020.
The court's statement came when hearing Khalid's bail plea who has challenged a trial court's March 24 order which had dismissed his bail application.
"That the speech is in bad taste, does not make it a terrorist act. We understand that extremely well. If the case of the prosecution is premised on how offensive the speech was, that by itself would not constitute an offence. We will give them (prosecution) the opportunity," a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar said.
The bench added that the speech was "offensive" and "distasteful". It added that the speech "may tantamount to defamation but it will not tantamount to a terrorist activity."
The speech was made by Khalid on February 17, 2020, in Amravati.
The court has issued the date of July 4 to hear concluding arguments by Umar Khalid's counsel.