The Central Forensic Science Laboratory believes that Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam’s voice appears to match the one in the video clips that show him delivering allegedly seditious speeches on the campuses of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. The newspaper said it had seen the laboratory report.

On July 25, the Delhi Police submitted a copy of the report, along with transcripts and video files of the speeches, to a local court. “The voices marked exhibit Q-1(S) & Q-2(S) are the probable voices of the person (Sharjeel Imam), whose specimen voice is marked Q-1(s),” the report, dated April 20, said.

Though the report uses the word “probable”, the Delhi Police told the court that the forensic laboratory results are conclusive enough to show that Imam delivered the speeches last December.

The police have alleged that Imam had refused to give a sample of his voice, but in February, a court ordered him to do so. However, Ahmad Ibrahim, Imam’s lawyer, countered the charge. “These things are insignificant,” he said. “In February, Imam had given a hand-written application to the Patiala House court where he had informed the magistrate that his voice was modulated and he was asked to speak a few sentences from the speech. The court had taken the plea in cognisance and will consider it during trial.”

In its submission to the court, the Delhi Police also attached copies of pamphlets about the Citizenship Amendment Act, which it said were recovered from Imam’s laptop. The forensic report confirmed this. The police also alleged that the pamphlets were later distributed to mosques all over Delhi, and asked people to protest on the streets and block roads.

The police also attached the statement of the owner of a photocopy shop in South Delhi, where around 1,000 copies of such pamphlets were made. The police claimed the pamphlets had details of “non-existent detention camps” for Muslims in different parts of the country.

In the chargesheet against Imam, the police has attached photocopies of transcripts of several of his speeches. In one of the speeches, delivered in Asansol on January 22, the Jawaharlal Nehru University student allegedly asked Muslims to protest because they lacked adequate representation in Parliament, the courts, the Indian Army or the police. In another speech, he allegedly asked people not to believe in the Constitution, which he called a “fascist document”.

“He is accused of delivering seditious speeches and inciting a particular section of community to indulge in unlawful activities, detrimental to sovereignty and integrity of the nation,” the chargesheet said. “In the garb of protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, he exhorted people of a particular community to block the highways leading to the major cities and resort to ‘Chakka Jam’, thereby disrupting normal life.”

The case

JNU student Sharjeel Imam had made an allegedly inflammatory speech at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi on December 13, and another on January 16 at Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, where he threatened to “cut off” Assam from the rest of India, by occupying the “Muslim-dominated ‘Chicken’s Neck’. Imam is currently lodged in Guwahati Central Jail, and has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Imam was arrested on January 28 from Bihar’s Jehanabad district. On July 10, the Delhi High Court rejected Imam’s petition challenging the trial court order granting more time to the police to conclude the investigation. The PhD student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Historical Studies has been charged under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.