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Sedition Case: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Sharjeel Imam's Plea Challenging Charges Framed In Anti-CAA Speeches Case

Nupur Thapliyal
11 March 2022 6:02 AM GMT
Sedition Case: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Sharjeel Imams Plea Challenging Charges Framed In Anti-CAA Speeches Case
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The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice on plea moved by Sharjeel Imam challenging a Trial Court order framing charges against him in a case relating to the alleged inflammatory speeches made by him in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act.A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta...

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice on plea moved by Sharjeel Imam challenging a Trial Court order framing charges against him in a case relating to the alleged inflammatory speeches made by him in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta sought response of the prosecution while posting the matter for further hearing on May 26.

Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir appeared for Imam whereas Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appears for the prosecution.

"Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad prays time to place relevant documents from trial court on record. Let the same be done within two weeks. List on May 26," the Court ordered.

Earlier this week, the Bench had issued notice on the plea filed by Imam seeking bail in the same FIR.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat vide order dated January 24, 2022 had framed charges under Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC along with Section 13 (Punishment for unlawful activities) of the UAPA.

Imam was booked vide FIR 22/2020 registered by the Delhi Police. The alleged offence under UAPA was added later. 

The plea filed through Advocates Ahmad Ibrahim, Talib Mustafa and Kartik Venu states that the special court had completely failed to read the speeches and pamphlets in question in the right perspective and had wrongly concluded that the speeches were communal in nature, spread 'disaffection' towards the government established by law, 'promote enmity' between groups and challenge the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India.

"The Special Court has completely failed to take into consideration that the concept of Chakka Jam is not the invention of the Appellant but a legacy of political comment in India for decades and the same wouldn't come within the meaning of pubic disorder to attract the applicability of section 124A IPC and 13 UAPA," the plea reads.

The plea avers that the impugned order completely failed to appreciate that it remains a trite law that in absence of any incitement to violence or call for violence, no speeches could be attributed any criminality under sec. 124A and 13 of UAPA.

"It remains a trite law that mere inciting the feelings of one community or the group without any reference to any other community or group cannot attract any of two penal provisions. Also, the Special Court has completely overlooked those part of the speeches where the Appellant has rather on multiple times urged members of all the other communities to come out and join the protest," the plea states.

Accordingly, the plea seeks setting aside of the impugned order.

Case Title: Sharjeel Imam v. The State of NCT of Delhi

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