A Delhi court Friday granted bail to JNU student Sharjeel Imam for allegedly delivering a seditious speech near the Jamia area in 2019. However, he will remain in judicial custody since he is yet to be granted bail in two cases in connection with the 2020 Northeast Delhi riots.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Aggarwal Friday granted bail to Sharjeel, who has been in custody since February 17, 2020, in connection with a speech he gave near the Jamia area which allegedly incited violence at Jamia Millia Islamia in 2019.
The court considered the submissions made by Sharjeel’s lawyers that the Supreme Court had recently kept sedition cases under abeyance.
“Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, considering the submissions made at Bar, in view of the directions of Hon’ble Apex Court in S G Vombatkere (Supra), and keeping in view the earlier order dated 22.10.2021 of this court, I am of the considered view that the case of applicant/accused is covered under section 436A CrPC and therefore instant application deserves to be allowed,” the court said.
Sharjeel’s lawyers Ahmad Ibrahim and Talib Mustafa moved the bail application arguing that since section 124-A (sedition) cannot be taken into consideration in the present criminal prosecution, “therefore, the only offence which now remains against the applicant is section 153A of IPC, for which the maximum punishment is only three years of imprisonment”.
Sharjeel’s lawyers also told the court that he has already undergone more than 30 months of incarceration, and therefore, section 436A (which stipulates that if an accused has undergone half the maximum period of punishment in detention, he has to be released by the court) has to “come to the rescue of the applicant and he be immediately released”.