Sunday, November 27, 2022

Delhi High Court directs Delhi Police to file status report in Sharjeel Imam case

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The Delhi Police was issued a notice by the Delhi High Court on Friday on JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s appeal against a lower court order denying him interim bail in a sedition case.

On Imam’s appeal against the court’s refusal to stay trial in the case, notices have been issued by the Division Bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal.

The Delhi Police has been directed by the bench for filling a status report in the matter within two weeks and has listed the case for further hearing on August 25.

The current case is that of the speech Imam gave at at Jamia Milia Islamia in December 2019.

On July 23, Amitabh Rawat, the Additional Sessions Judge, had rejected the bail plea of Imam stating that it had already been denied earlier on merits and even though the Supreme Court had kept Section 124A (sedition) in abeyance, the case can proceed based on other charges against Imam.

The court said, “The pending trials with respect to the charges framed under Section 124A IPC have been kept in abeyance however, adjudication with respect to other Sections can proceed if the court is of the opinion that no prejudice would be caused to the accused.”

The Court, therefore, underlined that there was no embargo on the trial continuing in a case which has various other offences besides Section 124A IPC.

Imam has been charged with promoting enmity between groups, public mischief, and offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), besides sedition.

A court had denied bail to Imam on October 2021 alleging that the speech given by him was clearly on communal/divisive lines and could affect peace and harmony in the society.

Imam had subsequently moved an appeal before the Delhi High Court.

The Supreme Court had passed a landmark order on May 11, directing that all pending appeals and proceedings across the country with respect to the charges framed for sedition (Section 124A IPC), be kept in abeyance.

Imam then filed an application before the High Court seeking interim bail but the High Court directed him to approach the trial court.

Imam had moved the bail plea before the trial court, which rejected it on July 23.

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