NEW DELHI: According to legal experts, the Delhi court’s order denying bail to Sharjeel Imam is of a contradictory nature and the court can’t put someone behind jail for an indefinite period. The court observed that while Imam’s statements were communal, there was no evidence to suggest that the statements had incited the riots.
Senior lawyer Rebecca John said that the court’s discomfiture was clearly seen and there were “inherent structural contradictions in the order and it needs to be taken up with the higher court now.” Terming the order as a value judgment, senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde said that the order contradicted itself. According to senior advocate Manoj Pahwa, court should have considered whether the speech fell within the ambit of an offence punishable under section 124A IPC (Sedition) at the stage of bail itself.
Pahwa said that there was no point postponing this viral issue. Sharjeel was not required to be in jail since the investigation was concluded. “The chargesheet has been filed and his custodial interrogation is not required anymore, and as he’s spent more than nine months in jail, his bail application could have been favourably considered by the court,” Pahwa added. Founder of Human Rights Law Network and senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves said: “Had Sharjeel made some provocative statements then the authorities should’ve compared them with fanatical elements. Do they get taken away by cops under UAPA?”
Imam’s speech had resulted in riots: cops
Imam on December 13 2019, had allegedly delivered a provocative speech, which, according to the police, had resulted in riots two days later when a mob consisting of over 3,000 people attacked police.