JNU PhD scholar Sharjeel Imam was produced before additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat on 26 August, a day after he was arrested under FIR 59 from the Delhi riots, where Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has been invoked.
The court has ordered four-day police custody in the matter and his counsel, two legal interviews, before and after custody.
Sharjeel was brought to Delhi from Assam on Sunday on a production warrant and underwent a COVID-19 test before it. The court has also ordered for another COVID-19 test on Sharjeel on 27 August, as he had tested positive for the virus three weeks ago.
The public prosecutor had asked for five days custody in his arguments, which was opposed by Sharjeel Imam’s counsel Surabhi Dhar.
She argued that Imam had been in custody for over a month before the Delhi riots took place and she therefore, does not know the grounds the Delhi Police has to arrest Sharjeel. The Delhi Police has sought custody of Imam three weeks ago, it was delayed as he had contracted COVID-19.
Without divulging details of Imam’s role in the riots, as the media will report on it, the public prosecutor said that the police needed time as his role was “clearly revealed”.
Charge Sheet Against Imam
The Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet against him in April and Imam was charged with sedition for allegedly inciting people to indulge in “activities detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.”
Imam had previously been lodged in Guwahati Central jail, following his arrest from Bihar’s Jehanabad on 28 January for allegedly ‘instigating and abetting the Jamia violence by making inflammatory speeches regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at the Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University.
After the Delhi Police booked him under the UAPA in April, a team of Delhi Police Special Cell had gone to Assam to bring him back to Delhi on 21 July. However, his transfer had been postponed on account of him having tested positive for COVID-19.
Under Which Sections?
Imam has been charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), over a speech he delivered at AMU, where it has been construed that he threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the Northeast from India, the report added.
UP, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh police have also booked Imam on charges of sedition.