The Delhi High Court on Friday directed activist Sharjeel Imam’s counsel to place on record the first information report and the chargesheet filed against his client for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh and at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, Live Law reported.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar was hearing an appeal filed by Imam, challenging a session’s court order that refused him bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case.

Imam was charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in April 2020 for his alleged inflammatory speeches. Three months later, the police accused him of sedition. A chargesheet against him said that the 2020 Delhi riots was a result of his speeches.

The communal violence had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26, 2020. The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.

The Delhi Police claim that the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was planned by those who had organised the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. They also claim the protestors had secessionist motives and were using “the facade of civil disobedience” to destabilise the government.

Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, representing Imam, on Friday said that the Allahabad High Court had heard one of the two speeches by Imam that had formed the basis of a first information report registered by the Delhi Police.

While Imam was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in November for his speech at Aligarh University, he did not walk free from Tihar jail as he was also charged in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case.

“There are two speeches attributed to me,” Mir argued for Imam in court, Bar and Bench reported. “One is at Jamia Milia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and another on January 16, 2020, in Aligarh University. The FIR in question was lodged on January 25, 2020 and I am in custody since January 28, 2020. More than two years have passed.”

Mir said that nearly five to six first information reports were registered against his client for the same speech.

“The Allahabad High Court has granted him bail in the same case,” Mir said. “The interesting finding by the High Court is that there was no violence.”

Imam’s case in the Delhi larger conspiracy case was adjourned and scheduled for hearing on May 26, Bar and Bench reported. The court will also hear Imam’s petition challenging the framing of charges under UAPA on the same day.

Umar Khalid’s plea adjourned too

Along with Imam’s plea, the Delhi High Court was supposed to hear a bail application filed by activist Umar Khalid on Friday.

The same bench that heard Imam’s plea earlier on Friday said that Justice Mridul had nearly six special bench matters to deal with, and so, it had to adjourn Khalid’s hearing, Bar and Bench reported.

It is now scheduled for May 19.

The bench also allowed Khalid to place on record all the relevant documents for an effective adjudication.

“In the meantime, parties are at liberty to place on record all documents as may be relevant for the adjudication of the appeal within one week from today with advance copy to the other side,” the bench said, Live Law reported.

Khalid was arrested on September 2020, after clashes broke out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law in North East Delhi in February 2020. He has been booked for delivering a speech in Amravati under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and has been in custody since then.

After being denied bail by a sessions court in Delhi, Khalid challenged the order in the Delhi High Court.