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Sharjeel Imam to face sedition, UAPA charges in provocative speech case, orders Delhi court

During the previous hearing, Imam had submitted before the court that there was nothing in his speech that caused religious animosity.

Imam was arrested on January 28, 2020 and will complete two years in jail this week in judicial custody.

A Delhi court today ordered framing of charges including sedition and other charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against Sharjeel Imam in connection with a provocative speech case of December 2019. The case is related to alleged inflammatory speeches made by Imam at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Delhi.

Imam had made the alleged inflammatory speech on December 13, 2019 in the Jamia area and at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16, 2020. Imam was arrested on January 28, 2020 and will complete two years in jail this week in judicial custody. Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat ordered framing of the charges against him. The court passed the orders under sections 124A (sedition), 153A, 153B, 505 of IPC and 13 of UAPA.

“Charges are being framed under sections 124 (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of Indian Penal Code, and Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of UAPA,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat ordered.

During the previous hearing, Imam had submitted before the court that there was nothing in his speech that caused religious animosity. The JNU student was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and for the alleged offence of sedition under the IPC. He had sought bail as well discharge in the case.

Imam is accused of offences relating to sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion/race/place of birth, imputations prejudicial to national integration, and public mischief under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and indulging in unlawful activities under the UAPA, PTI had reported.

In his defense, Imam had earlier told the court that he is not a terrorist and his prosecution is a ‘whip of a monarch rather than a government established by law’. Whereas, the prosecution claimed that violent riots took place pursuant to Imam’s speech.

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