Sharjeel gets bail in Jamia speech case, to stay in jail
On Monday, the Delhi high court asked the trial court to also take into consideration the Supreme Court’s order of keeping the offence of sedition in abeyance and decide the application for default bail
A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to student leader Sharjeel Imam in connection with a case filed against him for allegedly making inflammatory speeches during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in 2019. However, he will continue to remain in jail in the other cases.
Imam was granted bail under the Code of Criminal Procedure’s (CrPC) Section 436A. The provision provides for bail for a person, who has undergone imprisonment of up to half of the maximum sentence specified for an offence before the conclusion of the trial.
Additional session judge Anuj Agrawal said Imam has been in custody for over 31 months since his arrest in February 2020.
“Sharjeel Imam is admitted to bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of ₹30,000 with one surety of like amount subject to the condition that he shall always remain available on a working mobile number and shall intimate the concerned IO [investigating officer] about a change of address if any, “the court said.
Imam’s lawyer argued his client was entitled to bail having undergone detention for more than one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity among religious groups). He added that the only offence that now warrants consideration of the trial court is under Section 153A “as the offence of sedition has been kept abeyance”.
On Monday, the Delhi high court asked the trial court to also take into consideration the Supreme Court’s order of keeping the offence of sedition in abeyance and decide the application for default bail.
A Delhi court had framed sedition charges against Imam in March this year for his alleged inflammatory speeches at Jamia area in Delhi in December 2019 and at Aligarh Muslim University in January 2020 during anti-CAA protest.
Earlier, in October last year, the trial court had denied Imam bail saying that the tone and tenor of his ‘incendiary speech’ had a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace and harmony of the society.
The FIR had alleged that on December 15 in 2019, information was received by police regarding a demonstration being held against the citizen amendment bill by some students and residents of Jamia Nagar.
According to the police, Imam instigated a mob through his speeches which later blocked traffic movement on the road and started damaging public/private vehicles and properties with sticks, stones and bricks.