The Delhi High Court on Tuesday partially set aside a trial court order that had discharged activists Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and eight others in a 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case, reported Bar and Bench.

The Delhi Police had challenged the lower court order, which had held that the activists were made to be scapegoats as the actual perpetrators could not be held.

On Tuesday, the High Court also framed charges against nine of the 11 accused persons including Imam, Tanha and Zargar for various offences, including rioting and unlawful assembly. A single judge bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said the right to peaceful assembly is subject to reasonable restrictions and that acts of violence or speeches that incite violence are not protected under it.

“Prima facie, as seen in the video, the respondents were in the first line of the mob,” the High Court noted, reported Live Law. “They were raising slogans of Delhi police murdabad and were violently pushing the barricades.”

The case pertains to violence that had erupted at the Jamia Millia Islamia University campus on December 15, 2019, during student protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The Delhi Police was accused of barging into the campus and using excessive force to quell the demonstrations. The police had claimed their action was justified as the protestors had allegedly injured their personnel and set buses on fire.

The other persons accused in the case are Mohammed Abuzar, Umair Ahmad, Mohammed Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohammed Qasim, Mohammed Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan and Chanda Yadav.

In the fresh charges framed on Tuesday, Imam, Zargar, Qasim, Anwar, Khan, Ahmed, Nadeem and Yadav have been booked under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servants), 353 (assaulting public servants), 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as sections of the Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act, reported Bar and Bench.

Meanwhile, Shoaib and Abuzar have been charged under Section 143 of the Indian Penal Code and discharged from all other offences.

Tanha was discharged of Sections 308 (attempt to culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 435 (punishment for trespassing) of the Indian Penal Code. However, charges were framed against him under other sections, reported Bar and Bench.

On February 4, Arul Varma, the additional sessions judge of Delhi’s Saket court had discharged all the accused persons, saying that there was no prima facie evidence that the accused persons were part of the mob violence, or had any weapons or were throwing stones.