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Court issues notice to Delhi police on plea of Sharjeel Imam seeking bail in Sedition case

New Delhi: A Delhi court has recently issued notice to Delhi police on a plea of Sharjeel Imam seeking statutory bail in the sedition case registered in 2020. It is said that the proceedings related to offence of Sedition are stayed and maximum punishment in offences under UAPA is seven years. He has been in custody since January 2020 that's half of the maximum punishment for the offence under UAPA.
It is contended that the applicant has been in custody since 28.01.2020 in this case and has completed a period of 3 years and more than 6 months under incarceration and has undergone incarceration extending up to one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for the concerned offence by law.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court on Friday issued notice to Delhi police and directed them to file a reply. Special public prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad accepted notice and sought time to file a reply on the maintainability of bail application.
The matter has been listed on September 11. The main matter is also listed on the next date of hearing.
Advocate Ahmad Ibrahim and Talib Mustafa had moved an application on behalf of Sharjeel Imam seeking his immediate release from the present criminal prosecution in terms of the statutory provisions contained in Section 436A of Cr.P.C.
The counsel submitted that applicant is in custody since 28.01.2020 in connection with FIR of 25.01.2020 P.S. Crime Branch, registered for the offences punishable U/s 124A, 153A, 153B and 505(2) IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
It is stated that the applicant was arrested from his hometown Jehanabad, Bihar in this case on 28.01.2020 and was produced before the Patiala House Court. Since then, he has been in judicial custody after police interrogation.
It is further submitted that the investigation in the matter stands concluded and a final report/chargesheet against the applicant has been filed in this case on 25.07.2020 for the offences punishable u/s 124A, 153A, 153B, 505 of IPC and Section 13 of UAPA.
The Court took cognizance of the speeches/offences under section 124A, 153A, 1538 and 505 IPC on 29.07.2020 and Section 13 of the UAPA, on 19:12 2020, the plea stated.
Thereafter, charges were formally framed against the applicant on15.03 2022 by Court under section 124A, 153A, 153B and 505 IPC
The Court had passed the direction effectively staying the operation of Section 124A IPC and all proceedings emanating therefrom, it added.
The High Court of Delhi, on 31.10.2022 directed that the trial be stayed in respect of material witnesses and only formal witnesses be examined.
It is argued that the Section 436A of Cr.PC. is a wholesome beneficial substantive provision substantive one which is for effectuating the right of speedy trial guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.
It is also said that after the stay of trial in the present case by the High Court in regard to the main offence of Section 124A IPC (Sedition) in light of the directions passed by Supreme Court in S.G Vombatkere v. Union of India on 11.05.2022, the only offences remaining against the applicant relate to an offence punishable U/s 153A IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) which is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years, 153B IPC (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) which is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years, 505 IPC (Statements conducing to public mischief) which is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years and 13 of UAPA (Punishment for unlawful activities) which is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to seven years.
The petition also contended that even as per the maximum punishment extending up to 7 years prescribed under Section 13 UAPA, the applicant has completed one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for the concerned offence by law and hence, deserves grant of statutory bail under Section 436A of Cr. PC.

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