New Delhi, September 30
A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to former JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a sedition case in which he was accused of instigating the Jamia riots here in 2019, taking into account the Supreme Court’s order effectively keeping in abeyance the colonial era sedition law. Granting bail to the student activist after nearly two-years-and-a-half of incarceration, the court also referred to its own observations of October 22, 2021 that there was no evidence on record to suggest the rioters acted after hearing Imam’s speech.
“In view thereof and without commenting upon the merit of the present case, applicant or accused Sharjeel Imam is admitted to bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 30,000 with one surety of like amount,” Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal said. The judge said the bail was subject to the condition that Imam shall always remain available on a working mobile number and intimate any change of address to the investigating officer (IO) concerned.
In an interim order passed in May, the Supreme Court asked the Centre and the State governments to refrain from registering any FIRs under Section 124(A) (sedition) while the Union Government reconsidered the provision.
The Delhi court on Friday noted it had dismissed Imam’s plea earlier keeping in view the allegations against him under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (promoting enmity between classes) of the IPC. The court, with regard to other offences said prima facie, the evidence in support of the allegation that the rioters got provoked by Imam’s speech of December 13, 2019 and went on the rampage, committing mischief and attacking police, was “scanty and sketchy.” However, Imam will remain in jail as he is yet to secure bail in Delhi riots conspiracy case.
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