The Delhi High Court will on Monday hear a plea by JNU student Sharjeel Imam seeking bail in connection with a 2020 riots case involving allegations of sedition.
The case, which assails a January 24, 2022 order by the trial court dismissing Imam’s bail application in the matter, is listed for hearing before a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh.
On January 30, the court had sought to know the stand of the city police as to whether Imam’s plea for bail could be remanded back to the trial court for adjudication as there was no ground mentioned in the lower court’s order rejecting the relief.
The bench had said since section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code has been kept in abeyance following the directions of the Supreme Court, it will have to examine the trial court’s bail rejection order while keeping in mind the other sections framed against Imam.
Last year, the trial court had framed charges against Imam under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity), l53B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC and section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
As per the prosecution, Imam had allegedly made speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019 and at the Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019, where he threatened to cut off Assam and the rest of the northeast from India.
In his petition before the high court, Imam has said the trial court “failed to recognise” that pursuant to the directions of the top court, the basis for dismissal of his earlier bail plea, i.e. the charge of sedition no longer existed and therefore relief must be granted to him.
On May 11, 2022, the Supreme Court had stayed till further orders the registration of FIRs, probes, and coercive measures for the offence of sedition across the country by the Centre and the states until an appropriate forum of the government re-examines the colonial-era penal law.
(With PTI inputs)