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Delhi riots case: Sharjeel Imam moves SC against High Court order calling him 'main conspirator'

New Delhi: Sharjeel Imam has approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to expunge some remarks made by the Delhi High Court against him while denying bail to Umar Khalid in the Delhi riots case.

Imam said that Delhi High Court while rejecting Umar Khalid's bail plea, made certain observations and remarks against him when he was not even a party in the said petition. On October 18, while denying bail to JNU student Khalid, the High Court had said that Khalid was constantly in touch with Sharjeel Imam, who was arguably 'at the head of the conspiracy' and also referred to Imam as the main conspirator in one of the paragraphs.

In the 52-page judgment, the High Court took note of the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police referring to Imam as the "main conspirator" and further noting that Imam was the main member of a WhatsApp group of Muslim Students of JNU which was formed one or two days after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed on December 4, 2019.

The High Court in a paragraph of the judgement had stated, "Having heard counsel for the parties and having carefully gone through the charge-sheet and taking into consideration the fact that the Appellant (Khalid) was in constant touch with other co-accused persons, including Sharjeel Imam, who arguably is at the head of the Conspiracy; at this stage, it is difficult to form an opinion that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against the petitioner is prima facie not proved."
Imam wants remarks to be expunged where he has been called the 'main conspirator' and where the court said that Khalid was in constant touch with other co-accused, including Sharjeel Imam, who arguably is at the head of the conspiracy.

In his appeal before the top court, Imam said certain observations and remarks on him were made by the High Court where he was not a party in the said petition and it was in complete defiance of the law laid down by the apex court and a catena of other judgments reiterating the same principles of law.
"The observations and remarks in the impugned order have been made qua the petitioner (Imam) without an opportunity having being afforded to explain or defend himself and thereby, is in clear violation of the principles of natural justice," the appeal stated.

It added, "In any event, without prejudice to the foregoing, there is absolutely no evidence on record to justify the impugned observations/remarks made against the petitioner. Notably, none of the impugned observations and remarks is borne out of the record. Rather, they are ex-facie contradictory and even go beyond the allegations contained in the chargesheet."

Imam filed the appeal against the October 18 order seeking an ad-interim ex-parte stay of the order.
He further sought direction that his appeal pending before the High Court be heard uninfluenced by the impugned observations. (ANI)

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