A Delhi court denied bail to Sharjeel Imam, a protestor in a case involving alleged inflammatory speeches made by him in Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia area of Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Court filed charges against him under the IPC’s Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds, etc. ), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) and the UAPA’s Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities).
On January 25, 2020, an FIR was filed against Imam at the crime branch police station under Sections 124(A), 153A, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code in connection with speeches made in the Jamia area on December 13, 2019.
The speech was widely circulated on social media. Another speech, in which he is seen addressing a crowd at Aligarh Muslim University, was uploaded to Twitter and other websites. According to the state, Imam is accused of sedition, inciting enmity between groups on religious grounds, and engaging in unlawful activities to cause disaffection to India.
Imam’s advocate, Tanveer Ahmed Mir, stated before the Court that there was no call for violence in Imam’s speeches and that the Prosecution’s allegations were merely rhetoric with no basis. He had also argued that criticising the government could not be considered sedition and that a person could not be charged solely on suspicion.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, on the other hand, disagreed with the argument that the fundamental right to protest cannot be exercised to the point where it causes a problem for the general public. He also claimed that by making the alleged seditious speeches, Imam was challenging India’s sovereignty and attempting to instil in Muslims a “sense of hopelessness and insecurity” that no hope is left for them in the country.
In a case involving the violence at Jamia Milia Islamia University on the 13th and 14th of December, 2019, Imam was recently granted bail by a city court. On the other hand, he was denied bail in a 2019 case alleging that he made incendiary speeches that sparked riots across Delhi, with the judge observing that the tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect on public tranquilly, peace, and harmony.