The former JNU student Sharjeel Imam was arrested in a case relating to alleged on inflammatory speeches during anti-citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of citizens (NRC) protests. He was arrested on January 28 from Bihar’s Jehanabad District in connection with the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) near the Jamia Millia University in December last year which ultimately turned into a violent act.
Mr. Imam had sought default bail in the case on the ground that the investigation was not conducted within the statutory period of 90 days which concluded on April 27.
The Delhi police had booked Mr. Imam under Sec 124 (A) of Indian Penal code 1860 for an offence by words, either spoken or written causing disaffection against Government established by law and Sec 153(A) promoting enmity between different religious groups with an intention to create disharmony and under Sec 505 which states statement causing public mischief.
A case of sedition was also lodged against Mr. Imam for a speech delivered on the Aligarh Muslim University campus on January 16. Besides all of this charges he was also charged under Anti terror Law for his speech where the Assam Police has filed an FIR against Mr. Imam.
On Friday Delhi High Court presided over a single Judge bench rejected a plea which challenged the Trial Court order granting more time to the police for conducting further investigations. While disposing of the plea Justice V. Kameshwar Rao said that the present petition which is filed by the Petitioner is devoid of merit and is dismissed. As a result Imam will not be released on bail till now.
In the petition Mr. Imam has :
challenged the order which was passed by the Trial Court on April 25 granting more than three months beyond the statutory 90 days to the police to complete its investigation in the case filed under the stringent Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act (UAPA).
The HC stated that the argument put forward by the Senior Advocate Rebecca John representing Mr. Imam was not convincing. The Court further stated that the filing of application by the investigating agency on 88th Day seeking for an extension of time period was clearly a malafide intention only to deny the statutory bail to the client.
The Judge said that under Sec 13 of UAPA of the offences has not been contested. The UAPA provides for extension of the time period for conducting further investigation for a period of 90 days. I.e. in total 180 days. The Judge further added that in any of the case there is no bar in law for moving the application on the 88th day and thus no prejudice has been done to the Petitioner in the facts.
The Court pointed on the fact that Mr. Imam has not challenged the addition of Sec 13 of UAPA to the list of offences he is accused of. The Court futher held that there were good enough Justifiable ground for extending the investigation and the respondents were justified contending that compelling reasons means good or sufficient reasons. That justify the extension of the investigation period beyond a period of 90 days.