Monday, October 2, 2023

Delhi High Court issues notice on plea of Sharjeel Imam challenging criminal proceedings against him

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The Delhi High Court has issued notice on Sharjeel Imam’s plea that challenged proceedings against him for the same speech delivered in two different cases at Jamia Millia Islamia University in December 2019.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar has asked Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, who has represented the Delhi Police for a prompt response and has listed the matter for hearing on October 18.

Sharjeel Imam was represented by Advocates Talib Mustafa, Ahmad Ibrahim and Ayesha Zaidi represent Sharjeel Imam.

The first Supplementary chargesheet that was filed against Sharjeel Imam in FIR No. 22 of 2020 and FIR 242 of 2019 under sections 124A and 153A of IPC was challenged by him.

It is his case that the speech in question was already under investigation in FIR No. 22 of 2020 and that it was made subject matter of FIR 242 of 2019 by way of the impugned supplementary chargesheet in complete disregard and defiance of the law.

The plea by Imam states that the act of the Respondent to import the speech in question from the specific FIR registered for the same (FIR No. 22 of 2020) and make it the subject matter of the present prosecution knowing fully well that the Petitioner is already being prosecuted for the same speech before the Special Court constituted under Section 22 of the NIA Act, 2008 is nothing but a classic case of abuse of the statutory power of investigation and thus the charges should be kept aside.

The plea added that there cannot be multiple criminal proceedings on the same incident against a person as framing of subsequent charges for the offence of sedition is in gross violation of the Supreme Court judgments.

It has also been prayed by Sharjeel that the trial court should be directed to proceed with the trial in FIR 242 of 2019 in respect to all other offences, except section 124A and 153A of IPC, without any further delay.

Sharjeel Imam in his plea stated that there can be no second FIR and consequently there can be no fresh investigation on receipt of every subsequent information in respect of the same cognizable offence or the same occurrence or incident giving rise to one or more cognizable offences.

Imam is presently under judicial custody in various cases registered against him during the 2020 North-East Delhi riots, including the larger conspiracy case involving UAPA charges.

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