HC notice on cops’ plea against trial court relief to Sharjeel, others

He believed in what he was doing. It is a very dangerous trend that things like these are noted in the order,” Jain submitted.
Delhi High Court (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)
Delhi High Court (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on a plea moved by cops challenging the discharge of  Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and eight others by a trial court in the Jamia violence case.

In his February 4 order, Additional Sessions Judge Arul Varma had come heavily on the Delhi Police saying the investigative agencies should be able to decide the difference between dissent and insurrection and said Imam and others were roped in as ‘’scapegoats” in the 2019 case.

During the hearing before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, cops opposed the observations of ASJ, saying it can adversely affect their investigation in the matter, and sought to pass interim direction to expunge them.

Justice Sharma, however, remarked: “I can’t interfere in the investigation. I am only going to say that observations against the investigating agency will not influence them at all. I will not expunge them.” The court further posted the matter for further hearing on March 16.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain appeared for cops, and argued, that the question is whether the law or conscience is to be governed. “The question is: Am I governed by law or conscience? Even a dacoit may have a conscience. Even Ajmal Kasab had a conscience. He believed in what he was doing. It is a very dangerous trend that things like these are noted in the order,” Jain submitted.

He also argued that the trial court admitted that riots created mayhem, saying, is it not the duty of the police to arrest those involved in it. In the order, ASJ Varma also referred to Gandhi’s quote: “Conscience is the source of dissent.

“The desideratum is for the investigative agencies to discern the difference between dissent and insurrection. The latter has to be quelled indisputably. However, the former has to be given space, a forum, for dissent is perhaps reflective of something which pricks a citizen’s conscience,” the order said.

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