The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to four states in Sharjeel Imam's plea for consolidation of FIRs filed against him across the country for investigation by a single agency.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah issued notices to states of Assam, UP, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, wherein the FIRs had been filed against him.
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 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" SG added.
Further, he submitted that issuing notice to only State of NCT was not enough but to all states where Imam had made the alleged seditious speeches.
Furthermore, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta added that as had been directed by the Court on May 1st, the report was ready and shall be filed tomorrow.
In light of this, Court directed the matter be listed after 2 weeks.
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 anti-coronavirus lockdown had seriously disrupted the pace of the investigation.