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Sharjeel Imam Moves Supreme Court Seeking To Expunge Remarks Made By Delhi HC Against Him While Denying Bail To Umar Khalid

7 Dec 2022 3:35 AM GMT
Allahabad High Court, Grants Bail, Sharjeel Imam, Sedition Case, Speech, AMU, Anti CAA-NRC protests, Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh,

JNU scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam has moved the Supreme Court seeking to expunge the remarks made by the Delhi High Court against him while denying bail to Umar Khalid in the Delhi Riots conspiracy case.

The High Court had said that Sharjeel Imam was arguably 'at the head of the conspiracy' with whom Umar Khalid was in touch. The High Court had also cited certain instances of alleged meetings between the duo to hold that Khalid was a part of larger conspiracy behind the riots which took place in north east Delhi during February 2020.

Taking objection to these remarks made by the High Court, Imam has filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, pointing out that such observations have been made without affording an opportunity of hearing to him. He also says that such observations touch upon the merits of the criminal case in which he is also an accused and there is a separate bail application filed by him which is pending before the High Court itself. Hence, Imam says that the High Court's remarks in the Umar Khalid's bail order will cause prejudice to his bail application.

It was on October 18 that a division bench comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar denied bail to Khalid in the FIR No.59/2020 registered by Delhi Police Special Cell invoking provisions of UAPA and IPC provisions relating to criminal conspiracy to allege that the Delhi riots were the result of a larger conspiracy hatched by activists. The chargesheet draws a link between anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots and has arrayed several student activists as accused.

In the SLP, Imam contends that the High Court's observations against him are in any case not borne out of the record. Also, such remarks were not integral to deciding Khalid's application. It is argued that the High Court violated the principles of natural justice by making such prejudicial remarks against him without hearing him. Therefore, he has sought expunging of those those remarks and a direction that his bail application should be independently heard uninfluenced by the remarks in the bail order passed in Umar Khalid's case.

Sharjeel Imam has been under custody since January 2020 in connection with several cases registered over an alleged inflammatory speech delivered by him during anti-CAA protests. He was named as an accused in the larger conspiracy case in the supplementary chargesheet filed in November 2020.

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