Delhi HC grants statutory bail to Sharjeel Imam in UAPA, sedition case

Sharjeel Imam (File photo)

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted statutory bail to Sharjeel Imam in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sedition case related to his alleged inflammatory speeches at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Despite this, Imam will remain in jail due to his involvement in the larger conspiracy case concerning the 2020 Delhi riots, which also involves UAPA charges.

The Division Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain allowed Imam’s bail plea, overturning the trial court’s decision that had denied him statutory bail.

Imam, represented by Advocates Talib Mustafa and Ahmad Ibrahim, argued for bail based on having served more than half of the maximum seven-year punishment.

Mustafa contended that Imam had already completed four years and seven months of incarceration out of the potential seven-year sentence.

However, Special Public Prosecutor Rajat Nair, representing the Delhi Police, opposed the plea, arguing that Imam had not met the requirement of serving half the sentence.

Nair pointed out that Imam’s case fell under the Explanation to Section 436A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), making him ineligible for statutory bail.

Nair also attributed the prolonged pre-trial detention to Imam, citing that the trial was stayed at Imam’s request in 2022.

Despite these objections, the court granted bail, noting various key dates, including the date of framing of charges and the examination of witnesses.

Sharjeel Imam was arrested in connection with his speeches that allegedly incited violence and unrest during the protests against the CAA.

Imam, accused in a case related to the alleged larger conspiracy behind the 2020 Delhi riots, had earlier urged the High Court to grant him bail. The trial court had previously denied bail to Imam in April 2022, following his arrest in August 2020 in connection with the case.

He has been in custody since January 2020, facing multiple FIRs related to the violence.

IANS

 

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