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Sharjeel Imam, Jailed For 2020 Delhi Riots, Granted Bail By High Court In Sedition Case

Imam was charged initially with sedition by the Delhi Police's Special Branch, with Section 13 of the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) added later. He has been in custody since January 28, 2020

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: May 29, 2024 13:33 IST
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Sharjeel Imam
Sharjeel Imam

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court approved bail for student activist Sharjeel Imam in relation to a 2020 case concerning communal riots, which included charges of sedition and unlawful activities.

Imam challenged a trial court decision that denied him bail, arguing that he has already served over half of the maximum possible sentence he could receive if convicted.

“Appeal is allowed,” stated a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain after hearing the arguments from Imam’s counsel and the Delhi Police.

The prosecution claims that Imam delivered speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019, in which he allegedly threatened to sever Assam and the rest of the North East from the country.

Sharjeel Imam was charged in a case filed by the Delhi Police’s Special Branch, initially for sedition, with Section 13 of the UAPA added later. He has been in custody since January 28, 2020, regarding this matter.

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Imam argued before the trial court that he has been in custody for the past four years, and the maximum sentence for the offense under Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is seven years, if convicted.

According to Section 436-A of the CrPC, a person can be released from custody if they have served more than half of the maximum sentence prescribed for the offense.

When denying him bail on February 17, the trial court ruled that the accused’s custody could be extended for a further period under “exceptional circumstances,” after considering the prosecution’s arguments.

Imam is an accused in multiple cases related to the 2020 communal riots, including a case alleging a larger conspiracy behind the violence. He is also in judicial custody for the conspiracy case.

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First published on: May 29, 2024 01:33 PM IST

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