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Delhi HC issues notice to police on Sharjeel Imam's plea seeking quashing of chargesheet
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Delhi Police on a plea moved by Sharjeel Imam challenging trial court proceedings against him in two cases for one speech delivered in Jamia Milia Islamia on December 13, 2019.
An FIR was registered against Sharjeel Imam under sections related to 'sedition' and 'promoting enmity between groups' under IPC at Police Station New Friends Colony in 2019. Now he has challenged the first supplementary charge sheet in the matter. Sharjeel Imam has sought quashing of the charge sheet filed on April 16, 2020, against him as he is being prosecuted by the special court for the same speech.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar issued a notice and sought a status report from Delhi Police. The matter has been listed on October 18, 2023, for further hearing.
Special public prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad appeared and accepted notice for Delhi Police. Sharjeel Imam was represented by advocate Ahmad Ibrahim, Talib Mustafa and Ayesha Zaidi. The counsel for Imam has said that the speech of December 13, 2019, in FIR no. 242/2019 is already the subject matter of another FIR (22/2020).
It is argued that there cannot be multiple proceedings for one speech as the charges have already been framed by the special court in the second FIR, under Section 124A and 153A IPC.
Imam's counsel also argued that the charge sheet filed in sections related to the offences of sedition and promoting enmity, Police has not yet taken sanction for prosecution. Consequently, no cognizance has yet been taken by the court of these two offences.
It is stated that based on an incident of rioting/violence that took place at Jamia University and Mata Mandir Marg on 15.12.2019, FIR No. 242 of 2019 was registered at P.S. New Friends Colony under Sections 143/ 147/ 148/ 149/ 186/ 323/ 353/ 332/ 308/ 427/ 435/ 323/ 341/ 120-B and 34 of IPC & Section 3 and 4 of PDPP Act, 1984.
The investigation of the case was later handed over to Crime Branch of Delhi police. After that, based on the disclosure statement of the co-accused Mohd. Furkan recorded during investigation wherein he says that he was instigated to commit the offences after hearing the speech delivered by the Petitioner on 13.12.2019 at Jamia University, the Petitioner was formally arrested in the present FIR on 17.02.2021, and the petition was submitted.
The petitioner also said that in the meanwhile, on 25.01.2020, a separate FIR had already been registered by the Crime Branch bearing FIR No. 22/2020, against him for having delivered two speeches during the Anti-CAA protests including the one at Jamia University on 13.12.2019.
The same was registered for the offences punishable under Sections 124A/153A/153B/505 of the IPC. A Charge sheet was later filed in the matter after obtaining the sanction Under Section 196 of CrPC from the appropriate government, and charges were framed against the Petitioner on 15.03.2022 by the Special Court, Karkardooma Court, Delhi.
The case is presently at the stage of prosecution evidence. It is also stated that during the investigation of FIR No. 242 of 2019, the Investigating Officer collected a copy of the transcript and the video of the speech in question (Jamia Speech) in a CD by the IO of FIR No. 22/2020 and also recorded his statement under Section 161 of CrPC.
Consequently, filed a supplementary charge sheet under all the offences as invoked in the FIR, the plea said.
The Jamia speech which was already investigated by the same investigating agency in FIR No. 22/20 was also made subject matter of the present FIR (242/2019) and a charge sheet was additionally filed U/s 124A and 153A against the Petitioner in complete disregard and defiance of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in T.T. Antony Vs State of Kerala & Ors, the petition said.
The same is in complete defiance of the fundamental right of the Petitioner to fair and speedy trial guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the plea added. (ANI)