Sharjeel Imam has moved Delhi's Karkardooma Court seeking interim bail in an FIR against him involving the offence of Sedition under sec. 124A of Indian Penal Code, in view of recent Apex Court order wherein the sedition law has been kept in abeyance till the Union Government reconsiders the provision.
Imam was booked vide FIR 22/2020 by the Delhi Police. The alleged offence under UAPA was added later. The FIR relates to the alleged inflammatory speeches made by him in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The plea has been filed before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, who had denied him bail and had also framed charges against him in the said FIR.
This comes after the High Court yesterday granted liberty to Imam to approach the Trial Court seeking interim bail after the prosecution raised a preliminary objection on the maintainability of the interim bail application before the High Court, submitting that according to a 2014 Supreme Court ruling, the bail application has to be moved in the first instance before the Special Court and if aggrieved, an appeal would thereafter lie before the High Court.
"In view of the Hon'ble Supreme Court's directions, the hindrance raised by this Ld. Special Court in the impugned order stands obviated, and observations surrounding the offence under section 124-A IPC cannot be taken into consideration in the proceedings against the Petitioner pending the final outcome of the Constitutional challenges to the section," the plea states.
The plea adds that Imam has been incarcerated for nearly 28 months whereas the maximum punishment for the offences, not including 124-A IPC, are punishable upto a maximum 7 years of imprisonment.
"That the Petitioner meets the proverbial 'triple test for bail. Moreover, it is not [nor has ever been at any stage] the case of the prosecution that the Applicant is a flight risk, at risk of influencing any witnesses or tampering any evidence," the plea adds.
The Court had framed charges against Imam in the matter 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.
Case Title: Sharjeel Imam v. The State of NCT of Delhi