A Delhi Court on Friday granted bail to former JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a sedition case that accuses him of delivering a ‘provocative speech’ that allegedly led to violence in the national capital’s Jamia Nagar area in the year 2019.
Imam, however, will continue to remain in custody as he is yet to get bail in other cases pending against him.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agarwal granted bail to Imam in an FIR registered at the NFC Police station. A detailed order copy is awaited.
The development comes day after the Delhi HC asked the trial court to consider Imam’s plea seeking relief under Section 436-A CrPC on the ground that he has remained in custody for 31 months in the FIR.
Regular bail was denied to Imam by a Saket Court last year in October, citing that the tone and tenor of his ‘incendiary speech’ had a debilitating effect upon public transquility, peace, and harmony of the society, reported Live Law.
Imam recently moved a plea in trial court under Section 436-A, while his bail plea was pending before the HC.
It is pertinent to mention here that Section 436-A provides that when a person before the conclusion of trial has undergone an imprisonment of up to one-half of the maximum sentence specified for the offence alleged against him, he can be released by court on bail.
The FIR registered at the NFC police alleged that on December 15, 2019, an information was received regarding a demonstration being held against the Citizenship Amendment Bill by the Jamia Nagar’s students and residents.
A mob had blocked traffic movement on the road and had damaged public and private vehicles and properties with stones, bricks, sticks. The prosecution claimed that rioters got instigated by the speech that was delivered by Imam on December 13, 2019 and then resorted to violence.
The trial court in October in its bail order had mentioned that the evidence against Imam was ‘scanty and sketchy’ to take a prima facie view that his speech incited riots. His bail plea was further dismissed noting that further examination was needed to ascertain if the speech amounted to the offence of sedition and promotion of communal disharmony.