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Judiciary

Bail to Delhi riots accused Sharjeel Imam in sedition case, but jail to continue in larger conspiracy case

By Shreya Agarwal      29 May, 2024 03:15 PM      0 Comments
Bail to Delhi riots accused Sharjeel Imam in sedition case but jail to continue in larger conspiracy case

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Delhi riots accused Sharjeel Imam in a sedition and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case from 2020. Imam, also an accused in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, will, however, continue to remain in jail in that matter.

The Court has only granted him statutory bail in the case against him for making inflammatory speeches in Delhi's Jamia area and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the 2020 riots in Delhi.

He was permitted bail in the sedition case noting that he has already served half the sentence for the offences he’s been charged with - having been arrested in the matter on January 28, 2020.

Imam challenged the trial court’s refusal to grant him bail, stating that he has already spent four out of seven years of maximum sentence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for the offences he has been charged with.

Therefore, a Division Bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain permitted him bail in this case.

He said that the offence of sedition has been kept in abeyance by the Supreme Court of India and the UAPA provisions invoked against him do not carry more than seven years sentence.

The trial court had denied bail to Imam stating that his speeches had captured the imagination of the people belonging to a particular community and incited them to commit disruptive activities.

"Finally, just after the speeches and the alleged activities of the applicant, on different dates and places, the riots occurred causing violence, huge damage to the public property and death of a large number of people," Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Bajpai of Delhi’s Karkardooma Court said in his order.

The Court was of the opinion that despite not directly exhorting people to take up arms, his speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) did mobilise the public to commit disruptive acts resulting in the riots ultimately.

The Court said that Imam’s speeches had directly increased the number of protesters and protest sites in Delhi, resulting in people blocking public roads, resulting in a chakka jam as planned by the protestors. 



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