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Sharjeel Imam Denied Bail In Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case

Nupur Thapliyal
11 April 2022 2:08 PM GMT
Sharjeel Imam Denied Bail In Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case
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A Delhi Court on Monday dismissed the bail plea moved by Sharjeel Imam in connection with a case alleging larger conspiracy into the Delhi riots of 2020, involving charges under Indian Penal Code and UAPA.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat pronounced the order after hearing Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir appearing on behalf of Imam whereas Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared...

A Delhi Court on Monday dismissed the bail plea moved by Sharjeel Imam in connection with a case alleging larger conspiracy into the Delhi riots of 2020, involving charges under Indian Penal Code and UAPA.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat pronounced the order after hearing Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir appearing on behalf of Imam whereas Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared for the prosecution.

What did Sharjeel Imam argue?

Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir had argued that no allegation of conspiracy can be attributed to Imam after his arrest in another riots case, days before the actual riots that happened on 24th and 25th of February, 2020.

He had argued that we cannot afford to have a system where conspiracies become endless and are rendered in perpetuity.

"Sharjeel Imam, the moment he is arrested, the case against him for conspiracy, if any, is over. Post arrest of Sharjeel Imam nothing can be attached to him for conspiracy. This argument is good for bail and also for charge," Mir had argued.

He had added "Arrest is prior, act is later. Arrest is prior, riot is later."

Mir had posed a bunch of questions to the Court to be considered while adjudicating Sharjeel Imam's bail plea. He asked that can there be a conspiracy in perpetuity and that if a person is arrested, can conspiracy can still be said against him after such arrest? He also asked that whether there was any evidence in the case attributed to Sharjeel Imam which suggested that there was a conspiracy to cause murders during the riots.

He had argued that in order to deny bail in the matter, there has to be evidence towards an overt act for conspiracy of causing riot staged in a particular location in the city which was on account of overt acts attributed to Imam.

Opposing the bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had referred to various events dating back to early December 2019, showing Imam's alleged involvement in the criminal conspiracy followed by his speech and conversations with members of various groups.

"When a cricket team plays, every player has its own importance. In the sequence of openers, assuming somebody one wicket is lost, that doesn't mean the intent to win game is lost. Merely because Imam is removed from the team by event of his arrest in 22/2020, doesn't mean entire conspiracy is abandoned," Prasad had argued.

He had added "It continues, we have seen from chat on DPSG and otherwise that Khureji was targeted to be made as next Shaheen Bagh where specific chats have come to say that Khureji has the potential to be the next Shaheen Bagh and testing for that has been done."

"When there is specific instance which demonstrates his involvement in larger conspiracy. Then he can be involved in larger conspiracy and also speeches. The two things will go separately."

He had argued that the defence cannot claim that merely because Imam was charged in FIR 22/2020, he cannot be charged in FIR 59/2020 which deals with the larger conspiracy in committing riots.

The FIR contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984. He is also charged of various offences mentioned under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

In September 2020, main chargesheet was filed against Pinjara Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and student activist Gulfisha Fatima.

Others who were charge-sheeted included former Congress Councilor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik, Mohd Salim Khan and Athar Khan.

Thereafter, a supplementary chargesheet was filed in November against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam in a case related to the alleged larger conspiracy in the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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