Delhi HC seeks police response on JNU student Sharjeel Imam's plea challenging sedition charge

The court issued notice to the police and listed the matter for further hearing on May 26.

Published: 11th March 2022 04:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2022 04:38 PM   |  A+A-

JNU scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam

JNU scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked Delhi Police to respond to a plea by JNU student Sharjeel Imam challenging framing of sedition charge against him in a case related to alleged inflammatory speeches made by him during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2019.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anoop Kumar Mendiratta issued notice to the police and listed the matter for further hearing on May 26. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, representing the Delhi Police, sought time to place on record relevant documents.

The court said it should be done within two weeks. Sharjeel, who was arrested in January 2020, in relation to the alleged inflammatory speeches, has challenged a trial court's January 24 order framing sedition charge against him.

The trial court had said, "Accused is directed to be charged for the offences under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), of Indian Penal Code and section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of UAPA."

On the same day, the trial court had also dismissed Imam's bail plea in the case, which has already been challenged by him in the high court and the petition is pending.

As per the prosecution, Imam had allegedly made speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019, where he threatened to cut off Assam and the rest of the Northeast from India.

The prosecution has alleged that his speeches incited hatred, contempt, and disaffection towards the Central Government and instigated the people which led to the violence in December 2019.

"In the garb of CAA, he (Imam) exhorted people of a particular community to block highways leading to major cities and resort to 'chakka jaam'. Also, in the name of opposing CAA, he openly threatened to cut off Assam and other Northeastern states from the rest of the country," the Delhi Police's charge sheet has stated.

Imam is in judicial custody since January 2020.He is a lso one of the accused in the Delhi riots conspiracy case. In his defence, Imam had earlier told the trial court that he was not a terrorist and his prosecution was a "whip of a monarch rather than a government established by law".

Whereas, the prosecution had claimed that violent riots took place pursuant to Imam's speech.

Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet against Imam in the case, in which it alleged that he allegedly gave speeches inciting hatred, contempt, and disaffection towards the Central Government and instigated the people which led to the violence in December 2019.



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