Delhi HC Refuses Default Bail To Sharjeel Imam: Anti-CAA Protests

On Friday, the Delhi HC rejected Sharjeel Imam’s petition. The petition challenged a trial court order that granted police an extended time to conclude the case further. Sharjeel was arrested under UAPA.

A single-judge bench led by Justice V Kameswar Rao in Delhi HC also denied default bail in the case. Imam, in his plea, had challenged the April 25 order of the trial court that granted three more months, beyond statutory 90 days, to the police to complete the investigation.

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi and advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the Delhi Police, told the court that amid the pandemic investigation could not be done, as an investigation does not happen through video conferencing.

However, the advocate representing Imam, Rebecca John, said that the court had not yet issued any notification regarding the extension of the investigation, reported the LiveLaw.

She added that Imam was not also produced before the trial court, thereby depriving him of the ability to contest the allegations against him. “There is no parity between them [police] and me, I am the one who suffers consequences,” John said.

In the earlier affidavit, the police accused Sharjeel Imam of giving inflammatory speeches.
“Imam by way of his speeches was addressing a particular religious section of the society and creating disaffection towards government established by the law by creating unfounded fears in their minds regarding CAA and the process of National Register of Citizens, which is yet to be implemented in any manner throughout the country barring Assam,” the affidavit read.

On January 28, the police arrested Imam from Jehanabad district of Bihar due to his connections with anti CAA protests held near Jamia Millia Islamia. Earlier the police charged him under Sedition.

The Patiala House Court dismissed the bail application filed by him, saying that it is bereft of merit.

In a clip on social media, Imam was purportedly heard telling protestors to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. However, Imam later cleared that he had called for peaceful protests to “block roads going to Assam” – “basically a call for chakka jam”.

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