Delhi court discharges student leaders Sharjeel Imam, 10 others in Jamia violence during anti-CAA protest

Sharjeel Imam (File photo)

  • The judge stresses on the need to protect the freedom to dissent
  • The court came down heavily on the Delhi Police for filing an “ill-conceived” chargesheet
  • Judge pulls up prosecution and questioned multiple charge sheets filed into the matter

In significant development, a Delhi court on Saturday discharged student leaders Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and eight others in connection with the violence which broke out Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia in December 2019.

In total, Delhi Police made 12 people accused in the case. Several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including rioting and unlawful assembly were invoked against them, according to Bar and Bench.

The prosecution failed to apprehend the “actual perpetrators” but made the accused persons “scapegoats”, said additional sessions judge Arul Varma of the Saket district court.

After considering the case, the court discharged 11 accused. It, however, framed charges against one Mohammed Ilyas. Those who are discharged are Sharjeel Imam, Aasif Tanha and Safoora Zargar, Mohammed Abuzar, Umair Ahmad, Mohammed Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohammed Qasim, Mohammed Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan and Chanda Yadav.

The case relates to the violence that took place in and around Jamia Millia Islamia in December 2019 after some students and locals announced that they would walk towards Parliament to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), reported Bar and Bench.

Judge Varma observed that that the prosecution had filed “ill-conceived chargesheets” in which the police arbitrarily chose to array “some people from the protesting crowd as accused and others as police witnesses”. This “cherry picking” is detrimental to the precept of fairness, the court added.

“It would be pertinent to underscore that dissent is nothing but an extension of the invaluable fundamental right to Freedom of Speech and Expression contained in Article 19 of the Constitution of India, subject to the restrictions contained. It is therefore a right which we are sworn to uphold,” the judge affirmed.

The judge further said, “When something is repugnant to our conscience, we refuse to obey it. This disobedience is constituted by duty. It becomes our duty to disobey anything that is repugnant to our conscience.”

Judge Verma added that dissent is an extension of the invaluable fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, which was a right that the courts we are sworn to uphold.

The judge went on to quote Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud who had described dissent as a safety valve of democracy. “The destruction of spaces for questioning and dissent destroys the basis of all growth – political, economic, cultural and social. In this sense, dissent is a safety valve of democracy,” Judge Varma quoted the CJI.

He pulled up the prosecution and questioned multiple charge sheets filed into the matter, according to The Wire. “In the present case, it has been most unusual of the police to file one chargesheet and not one but three supplementary chargesheets, with really nothing to offer. This filing of a slew of chargesheets must cease, else this juggernaut reflects something beyond mere prosecution, and would have the effect of trampling the rights of accused persons,” he observed.


Significant human rights issues in India, says US State Department report

An annual United States report, released on Monday, indicted India on human rights situation underlining that the country in 2022 saw significant “human rights issues”, mainly against minorities and rights...

Everyone has the right to be heard, Rahul cites article 14,21

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has sought Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla's permission to speak in the House to clear the air around his "Democracy" remark in London. In...

Russia open for negotiation: Putin tells Xi on Ukraine peace plan

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Kremlin, has said his country is "always open for a negotiation process". Putin made...

Honour killing: Man strangles daughter to death

Kanpur : In an apparent case of honour killing, a man strangled his minor daughter to death using a data cable in the presence of his son. He had sent...

Urgent climate action can secure liveable future: IPCC report

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) There are multiple, feasible and effective options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, and they are available now, said scientists in...

Sealed covers are against settled judicial principles, says SC after Centre gives sealed cover in OROP case 

The Supreme Court on Monday said that it is planning to put to an end the practice of allowing litigants to make submissions in sealed covers after the Union government...

Hasina offers India to use Chittagong, Sylhet ports for mutual benefits

Dhaka: While stressing on the need to enhance regional connectivity to boost trade and commerce, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered India to use the Chittagong and Sylhet ports for...

Porn clip played at Patna railway station for 3 mins

Patna: Hundreds of passengers waiting to board trains at the Patna railway station faced an awkward situation when a porn clip played at all the TV screens installed across the...

Community certificate rectifies historical injustice: SC ends bankman’s 20-yr ordeal for justice

New Delhi: For nearly 20 years, R. Sundaram, who retired as a scale 3 officer of the Indian Bank after a tenure of 38 years, ran from pillar to post...

Radical Amritpal Singh held in Punjab after high-speed chase, internet services suspended

Chandigarh, March 18 (IANS) Radical Sikh preacher and Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh was arrested in Punjab's Moga district on Saturday after a dramatic hour-long high-speed chase in a major operation involving...

NCSC takes cognizance of derogatory remarks by Ram Rahim

Chandigarh: Taking cognizance of a viral news video wherein self-styled jailed godman and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is undergoing a 20-year sentence for raping his two...

Situation with China fragile, dangerous: India

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the situation between India and China in the western Himalayan region of Ladakh is fragile and dangerous, with military forces deployed very...

Read Previous

In a new outreach, RSS leader Indresh Kumar meets representatives of Muslim countries

Read Next

Liquor scam: BJP stages massive protest, demands Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :