Anti-CAA protester Sharjeel Imam seeks bail as police fail to file charges

The police said that his speeches were communal in nature, which caused serious communal strife and promoted enmity between various religious groups. By the way of his speech, he spread falsehood of genocide in Assam.
Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi, May 13 : The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Delhi Police on a plea filed by JNU scholar Sharjeel Imam seeking default bail in the matter pertaining to giving inflammatory speech.

Justice V. Kameswar Rao, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, issued notice to the Delhi Police seeking its response over the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on June 10.

The petition filed by Imam through advocates Bhavook Chauhan, Surabhi Dhar and Ahmed Ibrahim sought the court”s direction to release Imam on default bail under section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The plea also challenged trial court order by which the court had granted more time to the Delhi Police Crime Branch for filing the chargesheet in the case.

Recently, Delhi”s Patiala House Court dismissed the bail application filed by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Imam in a matter pertaining to giving inflammatory speech, asserting that it is bereft of merit.

In his bail application, Imam claimed that the police did not complete the investigation within the statutory 90-day period following his arrest.

“The applicant was arrested on 28.01.2020 and the statutory period of 90 days would have concluded on 27.04.2020. Till 27.04.2020, the investigation was not concluded, and the accused has an indefeasible right to be released on bail,” the bail application stated.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana, however, noted that extension of time period to conclude the investigation was already given before the expiry of the statutory period, on April 25. In his plea before the Delhi High Court, Imam has challenged the said order too.

Earlier on May 1, the Delhi Police has told the city court that Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was invoked against Imam for inciting a particular religious community to disrupt the sovereignty of the country.

The police said that his speeches were communal in nature, which caused serious communal strife and promoted enmity between various religious groups. By the way of his speech, he spread falsehood of genocide in Assam.

The police said that after his speech on January 16, many protest sites started emerging in the city, roads were blocked, and tents were erected to sit in to protest. These sites later on led to initiation of riots in Delhi in February 2020.

Imam was in the eye of a storm for giving “inflammatory” speech in Delhi”s Jamia Millia Islamia over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on December 13 and subsequently on January 16 at Aligarh Muslim University, where he allegedly threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the northeast from the country.

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