Court Slaps Sedition, UAPA Charges Against Sharjeel Imam Over Anti-CAA Speech

Last month, a Delhi court had granted bail to the JNU scholar in case related to violence in Jamia.

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Court Slaps Sedition, UAPA Charges Against Sharjeel Imam Over Anti-CAA Speech

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A Delhi court on Monday, 24 January, framed fresh charges, including sedition and the contentious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), against Sharjeel Imam in relation to his alleged role in making inflammatory speeches at Aligarh Muslim University and Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia.

The alleged speech was made against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

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.

What Were the Arguments?

Imam's counsel, 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.

Earlier, special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had contended that the opening of Imam's speech – the greeting 'as-salamu alaykum' – was enough to determine that the speech was only an address to the Muslim community.

"Would the Prosecution withdraw the Chargesheet had Sharjeel Imam started his speech with good morning, namaskar etc? At the end of the day, the statement is rhetoric and extremely hollow," Mir stated, LiveLaw quoted.

Meanwhile, Prasad also argued that Imam had challenged the sovereignty of India, and tried to imbibe a 'sense of hopelessness and insecurity' in the Muslims of the country through his speech.



Last month, a Delhi court had granted bail to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar and activist in a 2019 violence case registered at Jamia Nagar police station. The FIR was related to the violence in Jamia on 13-14 December 2019, amid the CAA-NRC protests.

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Topics:  Sedition   UAPA   Citizenship Amendment Act 

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