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Chidambaram says 'Sharjeel and others used as "scapegoats" in JMI violence'
New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram in a tweet thread on Sunday alleged that Sharjeel Imam and 10 others were made "scapegoats" in Jamia Millia Islamia violence in 2019 during the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest.
Through his tweets, he addressed the issue of pre-trial incarceration and alleged that it is an affront to the constitution and an abuse of law. In his tweet, the Congress veteran and lawyer said, "A Delhi trial court has held that Sharjeel Imam and 10 others were made "scapegoats" in a case connected with incidents of violence in Jamia Millia Islamia in 2019. Was there even prima facie evidence against the accused? The Court's conclusion: an unequivocal no."
"Some accused have been lodged in jail for nearly three years. Some got bail after many months. This is pre-trial incarceration. An inept police and over-zealous prosecutors are responsible for keeping citizens in jail before trial. What action will be taken against them?" added Chidambaram questioning the process of conviction of the prosecutor and the authorities responsible for detaining the accused.
Further, attacking the legal institution, he said, "Who will give back the months or years that the accused spent in jail? Our criminal justice system that tolerates pre-trial incarceration is an affront to the Constitution of India, especially Articles 19 (freedom of expression) and 21 (protection of life and personal property)."
"The SC must put an end to this daily abuse of the law. The sooner the better. Bless the trial courts that push back against the abuse of the law and uphold liberty," added Chidambaram.
Earlier on Thursday, Chidambaram tweeted, "I am glad that eventually Article 21 of the Constitution has triumphed and Siddique Kappan, the journalist from Kerala, is free Trial Court judges must push back on the demand for judicial custody which is really pre-trial incarceration."
He tweeted this on the day of the release of the journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested for allegedly covering the Hathras violence where a Dalit girl was gang raped Uttar Pradesh. He had been accused of inciting violence in the Hathras case and having a connection with the Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned by the Centre. (ANI)