Updated: January 26, 2022 8:34:48 am
In its detailed order framing sedition charges against JNU student Sharjeel Imam, a Delhi court has observed that his speeches were aimed at Muslims, to show they were facing an existential crisis, and to challenge the sovereignty of India and create hatred for State institutions.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had Monday framed charges against Imam for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at Aligarh Muslim University and in Delhi’s Jamia area against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
While scrutinising Imam’s speeches, the court said what has to be seen is whether “the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ is crossed or not, that is, the point where standpoint crosses the boundaries laid down by the Statutes and judicial pronouncements, the law steps in.”
The court said that it “appears that he is trying to convince them that Muslims as a community have been deprived because of the Constitution, and people who made the Constitution or who are required to protect it”.
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It said Imam made “vituperative utterances against even the Father of the Nation”.
It held that there “appears to be a tendency to create public disorder and incitement to violence” in his speeches, and that they appear to “challenge the territorial integrity and and sovereignty of India” and “create hatred/contempt for the lawful institutions of the State and to challenge them by unlawful means”.
“Prima facie, the religious groups are sought to be divided on emotive issues and one community is sought to be (mis)guided in a particular way of resentment, ill will and hatred towards others, which can then be remedied by a plan of action which will result in violence. The accused, by referring to the blockage/cutoff of ‘chicken neck’ which joins mainland India to the North East, seems to remind everyone that the said land belongs to Muslims and the call to do it, by certain means, is indicative of his intention,” the order read.
On Imam’s speech given at AMU, in which he terms the Constitution as a document by pandits, the court said, “He is not only denigrating the Constitution and the idea that makes this country but also creating resentment and ill-will towards a particular caste in the minds of everyone.”
ASJ Rawat said that at the outset, he would like to underscore the inalienability of Fundamental Rights granted to the citizens under the Constitution of India.
The court, however, cautioned that “such right is subject to reasonable restrictions”.
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