Delhi High Court grants bail to Sharjeel Imam in sedition case, UAPA case

The Delhi High Court granted statutory bail to JNU PhD scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam on Wednesday in a UAPA and sedition case.

| Updated: 29 May, 2024 5:04 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court granted statutory bail to JNU PhD scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam on Wednesday in a UAPA and sedition case. He allegedly gave inflammatory speeches at Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia area in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.

However, Imam continues to remain in jail as he is also accused in the Delhi riots of 2020. He has been in custody since January 28, 2020, in this matter.

Imam sought bail on the grounds of having undergone one half of the maximum seven-year punishment which can be granted if convicted. Under Section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a person can be granted bail from custody if they have served more than half of the maximum sentence prescribed for the offense.

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A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain allowed Imam’s bail plea. Earlier, a trial court on February 17 this year denied bail even though he had undergone more than half of the maximum sentence that can be given in case of conviction.

“Appeal is allowed,” said the bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain after hearing the counsel.

Advocate Talib Mustafa and Ahmed Ibrahim appeared for him. SPP Rajat Nair represented Delhi Police in Delhi High Court.

Statutory bail, also known as default bail, is a type of bail that accrues as a right to an accused person when the police fail to complete the investigation and file the charge sheet within the time frame stipulated under the law.

Sharjeel Imam is currently facing eight cases against him, including charges under sedition and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Imam had allegedly made this statement in 2020, “If I can organize 5 lakh people, we can permanently cut off Assam from India. If not permanently, then at least for a few months.” Imam argued that by blocking this corridor, the government would be forced to listen to the demands of the protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Only once India and Assam are cut off from each other will they listen to us.”

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 Sharjeel Imam was born in 1988 in Kako village, Bihar. He completed his B.Tech. and M.Tech. from IIT-Bombay before pursuing a master’s degree in modern history at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2013. In 2015, he began his Ph.D. at JNU.

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