Delhi’s Karkardooma court Monday slapped a fresh sedition charge against Sharjeel Imam over his provocative speeches in Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University during anti-CAA protests in Delhi on December 13, 2019, and January 16, 2020, respectively.
Sharjeel Imam was arrested by Delhi Police on 28th January 2020, from Bihar over inflammatory speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act, advocating for the secession of Assam from the rest of India. Imam, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail, will complete two years in jail this month.
A Delhi court orders to frame sedition charges against— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2022
Sharjeel Imam, in connection with alleged inflammatory speechs made by him in Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh and Jamia area in Delhi.
The accusations against Sharjeel Imam were framed under sections 124A (sedition), 153A, 153B, 505 of the IPC, and 13 of the UAPA as per Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.
Imam has been charged with sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, imputations prejudicial to national integration, and public mischief under the Indian Penal Code, and indulging in unlawful activities under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
A detailed copy of the order is expected to be made available later in the day.
The Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet against Sharjeel Imam in the matter, alleging that he offered statements inciting hatred, contempt, and disaffection toward the central government, as well as instigating the people who resulted in the December 2019 riots.
The charge sheet against Imam mentioned: “He is accused of delivering seditious speeches and inciting a particular section of the community to indulge in unlawful activities, detrimental to sovereignty and integrity of the nation.”
“In the garb of protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, he exhorted people of a particular community to block the highways leading to the major cities and resort to ‘Chakka Jam’, thereby disrupting normal life,” it read.
Last year, on November 27, Allahabad High Court had granted bail to Sharjeel Imam in the case of provocative speech against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Aligarh Muslim University in December 2019.
In October 2021, a Delhi Court had denied bail to Imam in the sedition case. Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agarwal has opined that Imam’s speech at Jamia on December 13, 2019, was communal and divisive that could affect the peace and harmony in the society.
Who is Sharjeel Imam
Imam was arrested in 2020 from Jehanabad, Bihar. He is a former Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and one of the key members of the group that organized Shaheen Bagh protests against CAA. Multiple FIRs were filed against Imam for a speech in which he allegedly asked the protestors to cut off Assam from India. FIRs were filed at Police stations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. He also got bail in the cases filed at Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Imam was accused of making provocative speeches outside Jamia Milia Islamia University in December 2019 that led to violence outside the campus. In April 2020, he was charged with sedition by Delhi Police. According to the FIR, his speech promoted enmity between communities that led to the riots at the area where University is located.
Another FIR in the Jamia case was registered against Imam in the Aligarh district. Both FIRs were registered in January 2020 under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (promoting or attempting to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever), 153B (making statements provoking breach of peace) and 505(2) (statements made which are alarming, false intention to create disharmony) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).