Activist Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea to be heard by Delhi High Court on May 26
Imam had approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail citing the May 11 Supreme Court order that temporarily stayed proceedings in sedition cases.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday listed the bail plea of activist Sharjeel Imam on May 26 in two cases filed against him, ANI reported.
Imam was charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in April 2020 for his alleged inflammatory speeches. Three months later, the police had accused him of sedition. A chargesheet against him said that his speeches incited the 2020 Delhi riots.
The matter was supposed to be heard on Tuesday but got adjourned since the bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar did not assemble, ANI reported.
Imam had approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the two cases citing the May 11 Supreme Court order that has temporarily stayed proceedings in sedition cases, Bar and Bench reported on Monday. Imam filed an application before the High Court on May 12 in connection with a bail appeal that is already pending before it.
On May 11, the Supreme Court had decided to put the sedition law in abeyance in an interim ruling. A three-judge bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had requested the Centre and state governments to not file any new cases under the law till it is re-examined.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University student, in his application before the High Court on May 12, had said that a Delhi special court had denied him bail because he was charged with sedition.
Imam contended that in view of the Supreme Court order on the sedition law, the case against him had been significantly diluted.
The activist also filed an application in another case registered by the Delhi Police about protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019, The Indian Express reported. Imam is also charged with sedition in this matter.
The prosecution has not claimed that he is a flight risk or that he may influence witnesses or tamper with evidence, Imam said.
While he 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.
The cases are based on a video that purportedly shows Imam making a speech at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16, 2020.
“If we can organise five lakh people then we can permanently cut India and the North East, if not permanently then at least for a month or so,” he appeared to say in a video recording of the speech, which went viral only after the cases were booked against him.
After the speech, cases against him were registered in five states, namely Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi.
After the Assam police filed an FIR against him, Imam told The Indian Express he was merely calling for a “chakka jam”.
He added, “I was saying we should try to peacefully block roads wherever possible. In that context, I said you have to block roads going to Assam.”