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SC Grants Time To Assam, Manipur & Arunachal Pradesh To File Counters In Sharjeel Imam's Plea Seeking Consolidation Of FIRs

Sanya Talwar
19 Jun 2020 7:13 AM GMT
SC Grants Time To Assam, Manipur & Arunachal Pradesh To File Counters In Sharjeel Imams Plea Seeking Consolidation Of FIRs
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The Supreme Court on Friday granted further time of two week to States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Manipur to file their Counters to Sharjeel Imam's plea for consolidation of FIRs registered against him across the country for investigation by a single agency.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan & V. Ramasubramanium took on recordthe counters filed by state of UP and NCT Delhi on record and listed the matter after three weeks.

Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave appeared for Imam and sought interim relief for Imam, stating that he had no objection to time being granted to the three states for filing counters. However, the pendency of FIRs against him could lead to a situation where he is called upon from Delhi to UP on production of warrant, he stated.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected to the submissions and stated that whatever shall be done will be in accordance with rule of law.

At this juncture, the Court stated that no interim relief could be granted to Imam as the instant prayer pertained to consolidation of FIRs only.

On May 26th, the Top Court had issued notices to states of Assam, UP, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, wherein the FIRs had been filed against him after Senior Advocate Sidharth Dave appeared for Imam and cited the Indulgence granted by Court recently in Arnab Goswami's plea for quashing of FIRs in multiple states.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had rebutted this submission stating that the issues in Goswami's case were completely different from the instant case of Imam. "FIRs in Arnab's case were cyclostyled. Not in this one" Mehta had said.

On May 1st, the top court had issued notice in the plea and had directed the Delhi Police to file a report in this regard.

Imam is facing charges of sedition and other grave crimes and is currently lodged at Guwahati Jail.

As many as five FIRs in different states had been filed against Sharjeel Imam, a Jawaharlal University Student for a his involvement violence at Jamia on December 13 and 15, 2019, for "instigating and abetting the Jamia riots, due to his seditious speech on December 13" and for a speech he made at Aligarh Muslim University against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on January 15.

Imam, who was previously one of the organisers of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, is facing charges of sedition, wherein IP 124 & 153A (promoting enmity between classes) were invoked, including section 13 the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A Delhi court on April 25, extended the period of investigation against him under the UAPA from 90 days to 180 days, which means that the detention of Imam gets extended till the period of investigation.

Seeking extension, Delhi's crime branch had sought more time on the ground that the coronavirus-induced lockdown had seriously disrupted the pace of investigation.

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