Anti-CAA speech: Delhi Court slaps sedition, UAPA against Sharjeel Imam

A Delhi court on Monday framed fresh charges, including sedition and the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), against student leader Sharjeel Imam in relation to his speeches against CAA at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat slapped Imam with charges under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, along with section 13 (UAPA), LiveLaw reported.

The FIR was against Sharjeel Imam was registered two years ago, on 25 January 2020, at the crime branch police station under Section 124-(A), 153A, 505 of the IPC with regard to speeches made in the Jamia Millia Islamia area on 13 December 2019. Another speech was uploaded on social media in which Imam is seen addressing a gathering at Aligarh Muslim University.

Sharjeel Imam’s lawyer Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir reportedly submitted that his speech was clean of any intention or call to violence, and the prosecution’s argument was only rhetoric.

In November last year, Imam was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in connection with a case filed against him for a speech he gave at the Aligarh Muslim University in January 2019, during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

JNU research scholar and student activist Sharjeel Imam is in jail in connection with at least three cases under draconian UAPA and sedition.

In the speeches, Imam had called for a road blockade as a method of protest against CAA. The police in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh registered FIRs against the speech and according to their charge sheets, his speech was secessionist and inflammatory.

Iman is presently lodged in Tihar jail since the student activist has also been charged in the Delhi riots conspiracy case and the Jamia protest violence case.