Friday, September 30, 2022

Delhi court orders to start trial against Sharjeel Imam in sedition case

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In a case involving sedition and other allegations, a Delhi court on Saturday ordered that prosecution evidence and day-to-day trial against Sharjeel Imam begin on March 28.

Today, Sharjeel Imam was physically brought before the court. Amitabh Rawat, an additional sessions judge, questioned the accused if he accepts the papers relied on and filed by the prosecution. Sharjeel Imam gave a negative response.

The court today postponed Imam’s bail application in the northeast Delhi riots case until March 30. On March 31, a decision on Khalid Saifi’s bail request will be made.

On March 15, the court filed charges of sedition and other offences against Sharjeel Imam for allegedly making inflammatory comments during anti-CAA protests in Delhi’s Jamia neighbourhood in December 2019 and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh in January 2020. He has entered a not guilty plea and requested a trial.

Imam was charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds, etc. ), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

On January 24, 2022, the Court issued a directive for the formulation of charges. Imam’s usual bail application was denied, and the case was rescheduled for a hearing on March 26, 2022.

The Court had said, “This is a case under UAPA. Since the bail has been denied to the accused on 24 January and this Court had suggested that the trial of the case shall be completed expeditiously, the Court proposes to do day to day hearing of this matter.

The accused is one of the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protest of December 2019 Imam was arrested in 2020 by Delhi Police from Jahanabad, Bihar.

Imam was granted bail in connection with a case of allegedly delivering an inflammatory speech at Jamia Millia Islamia which allegedly led to violence outside the university in December 2019.

In this case, the Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet against him. He was accused of giving statements inciting hatred, scorn, and disdain for the Indian government.

“He is accused of delivering seditious speeches and inciting a particular portion of the community to engage in unlawful acts, damaging to the nation’s sovereignty and integrity,” the charge sheet against Imam said.

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