Guwahati News Desk: The JNU activist Sharjeel Imam was denied bail by a Delhi court on Friday.
According to sources, the Court dismissed Imam’s bail plea in a case related to alleged inflammatory and instigating speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In addition, while dismissing the bail plea of Imam, the court quoted Swami Vivekananda, “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think; Words are secondary; Thoughts live; they travel far.”
Moreover, while dismissing the bail, Delhi’s Saket Court Additional Sessions Judge, Anuj Aggarwal, observed that “a cursory and plain reading of the speech dated December 13, 2019, reveals that same is clearly on communal/divisive lines. In my view, the tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace and harmony of the society.”
The ASJ added, “Considering the contents of speech which tend to have a debilitating effect on the communal peace and harmony, I am not inclined to grant bail to the applicant/accused Sharjeel Imam at this stage. The accused cannot claim any parity with co-accused as his role is entirely different from other co-accused. Accordingly, the instant application moved on behalf of accused Sharjeel Imam for grant of regular bail stands dismissed.”
However, the Court also said in view of the settled position of law, the issue of whether the said speech would fall within the ambit of section 124A (Sedition) Indian Penal Code or not, requires a deeper analysis at an appropriate stage.
Regarding Imam’s arrest, he was arrested on January 28, 2020, from Bihar for allegedly making a seditious speech and abetting riots in the Jamia Millia Islamia area in December last year. He was eventually charge-sheeted with an offence under section 124A/153A for the speech dated December 12, 2019. The accused was also charge-sheeted for offences under section 143/147/148/149/186/353/332/333/307/308/427/435/323/341/ 120B/34 IPC and 3/4, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and under section 25/27 Arms Act with aid of section 109 IPC for instigating co-accused in committing the said offences.
Furthermore, Imam is presently facing various cases in five states including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi.