New Delhi: The Delhi court on Monday issued sedition charges against JNU student Sharjeel Imam and denied him bail in a case related to alleged inflammatory speeches he allegedly made during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2019.
Accused to be charged with offenses under Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promotion of enmity based on religion), 153B (statements prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements leading to public mischief) , Indian Penal Code and Section 13 (Punishment for Unlawful Activities) of UAPA. By separate order, the request filed by Sharjeel Imam for the granting of a regular bond is rejected, ordered the judge of the additional sessions Amitabh Rawat.
Significantly, the order on this bail plea had been reserved months ago and was not issued until Monday after the charges were filed.
According to the prosecution, the imam gave speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019 and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019, where he threatened to cut off Assam and the rest of the northeast. from India.
Imam, while asking for bail, said his speeches were not in line with sedition. Where is the call of violence? How does sedition come into play? The background is to block the roads. How is it seditious? He called for a larger federal structure. That was the intention, his lawyer had argued in court.
Whereas, the prosecution claimed that his speeches incited hatred, contempt and disaffection towards the central government and incited the people which led to the violence in December 2019.
“In CAA attire, he (Imam) urged people of a particular community to block highways leading to major cities and resort to ‘chakka jaam’. Also, on behalf of opposition to CAA, he openly threatened to cut off Assam and other northeastern states from the rest of the country,” the Delhi police indictment said.
Imam has been in police custody since January 2020. He is also one of the defendants in the Delhi riots conspiracy case – which also contains charges under the UAPA.
In his defence, the imam had previously told the court that he was not a terrorist and that his charge was the whip of a monarch rather than a government established by law. While the prosecution claimed that violent riots took place following the imam’s speech.
Delhi police had filed an indictment against Imam in the case, in which they alleged he made speeches inciting hatred, contempt and disaffection towards the central government and incited people who led to violence in December 2019.