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Delhi Court Adjourns Sharjeel Imam's Interim Bail Hearing Till 23 July

The Public Prosecutor said that instead of seeking relief, Sharjeel was taking the "system for trial."

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A Delhi court on Wednesday, 20 July, adjourned the bail hearing of activist activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam till 23 July. The court also directed the jail CCTV footage from 30 June to be played on Wednesday due to lack of technical support in the hearing.

During the hearing presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, advocate Ahmad Ibrahim, appearing for Imam, argued that Imam met "the proverbial triple test for bail as he is not a flight risk, nor at the risk of influencing witnesses or tampering with the evidence."

"Imam did not make any conscious call for violence or incitement to violent activities," he added while referring to his Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act charge.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, however, said that instead of seeking relief, Sharjeel was taking the "system for trial."

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He further said that there could not be a blanket stay on the continuation of proceedings.

"There are formal and technical expert witnesses in the case. Their examination will not cause any prejudice in the matter. For the examination of material witnesses, the court can decide at that particular stage," he said.

Imam was arrested on the charge of sedition for allegedly giving inflammatory speeches against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh.

He has been in judicial custody since 28 January 2020.

What About the CCTV Footage?

Imam, on 4 July, had filed a complaint alleging that the assistant superintendent physically assaulted him besides calling him a "terrorist and anti-national."

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had directed authorities in Delhi's Tihar Jail to produce the footage before the court on 20 July.

Authorities contested this and said that Imam had misbehaved with the staff and threatened to falsely implicate them to get media attention.

They had said that Imam's cell was searched on 30 June under the deputy jail superintendent's supervision.

Jail authorities claimed that the entire episode was captured on CCTV footage and that the same has been preserved and will be produced in the court as directed.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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