HC issues notice to Delhi Police on Sharjeel Imam’s plea against order denying statutory bail

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New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a notice to Delhi Police on a plea filed by Sharjeel Imam against a trial court order denying him statutory bail in a UAPA and sedition case.

Sharjeel Imam is a key accused in a case involving alleged inflammatory speeches made against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

On February 17, Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Bajpai of the Karkardooma Court had denied statutory bail to Imam.

On Monday, a division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain sought Delhi Police’s reply in the matter within two weeks.

Imam was initially booked for the offence of sedition by Delhi Police’s Special Branch in 2020. Later, Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was also invoked in his case.

Imam has been in custody since January 28, 2020, and his argument is that he has completed half of the maximum seven-year punishment prescribed under Section 13 of the UAPA.

The same bench had earlier affirmed Imam’s right to file a fresh appeal if bail is denied by the trial court, based on the grounds mentioned in his initial appeal or any additional grounds.

Delhi Police had earlier opposed Imam’s claim that he has completed half of the maximum seven-year punishment prescribed under Section 13 of the UAPA, stating that there is not just one offence, but multiple crimes.

According to his application, Imam has spent three years and six months in judicial custody and thus should be entitled to statutory bail under Section 436A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The application states that Imam is willing to provide reliable surety and adhere to any condition upon release.

The charges against Imam include sedition (Section 124A), promoting enmity between different religious groups (Section 153A), making assertions prejudicial to national integration (Section 153B), and making statements conducive to public mischief (Section 505) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as punishment for unlawful activities (Section 13) under the UAPA.



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