30 Sep 2022 6:28 AM GMT
A Delhi Court on Friday granted bail to former JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a sedition case which accuses him of delivering a "provocative speech" that allegedly led to violence in the Jamia Nagar area in 2019. However, Imam will continue to remain in custody as he is yet to get bail in other cases pending against him.Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal granted bail to Sharjeel in FIR...
A Delhi Court on Friday granted bail to former JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a sedition case which accuses him of delivering a "provocative speech" that allegedly led to violence in the Jamia Nagar area in 2019.
However, Imam will continue to remain in custody as he is yet to get bail in other cases pending against him.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal granted bail to Sharjeel in FIR 242/2019 registered at the NFC Police station.
The Court noted that regarding the offence of sedition under section 124A of IPC, prosecution in all pending cases has been directed to be kept in abeyance by the Supreme Court.
It also noted that the offence under section 153A of the Code is punishable with maximum imprisonment upto three years.
"The applicant/accused is in custody since last more than 31 months, having been arrested on 17.02.2020 in the instant case," court said.
It added "Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, considering the submissions made at Bar, in view of the directions of Hon'ble Apex Court in S.G. Vombatkare (Supra) and keeping in view the earlier order dated 22.10.2021 of this court, I am of the considered view that the case of applicant/accused is covered u/s 436A CrPC and therefore instant application deserves to be allowed."
The development came days after the Delhi High Court asked the trial court to consider Sharjeel Imam's application seeking relief under Section 436-A CrPC on the ground that he has remained in custody for 31 months in the FIR.
Imam was denied regular bail by a Saket Court in October 2021, saying that the tone and tenor of his 'incendiary speech' had a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace and harmony of the society.
While his plea seeking bail was pending before High Court, Imam had recently moved an application in trial court under Section 436-A.
Section 436-A provides that when a person before the conclusion of trial has undergone an imprisonment of up to one-half of the maximum sentence specified for the offence alleged against him, he can be released by court on bail.
The NFC Police FIR alleges that on December 15 in 2019, an information was received by Police regarding a demonstration being held against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) by the students and residents of Jamia Nagar.
A mob had blocked traffic movement on the road and started damaging public/private vehicles and properties with sticks, stones and bricks, according to the police case. The prosecution has claimed that rioters got instigated by the speech delivered by Imam on December 13 in 2019 and then resorted to violence.
The trial court in its bail order in October observed that the evidence against Imam was "scanty and sketchy" to take a prima facie view that his speeches incited riots, The court was also of the view that the prosecution case for instigation of riots was left with "gaping holes" which cannot be filled with "surmises and conjectures".
However, his bail plea was dismissed noting that further examination was needed to ascertain if the speech amounted to the offence of sedition under Section 124A IPC and promotion of communal disharmony under Section 153A IPC.