The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned by two weeks the hearing on a plea filed by Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam, who has sought to club multiple first information reports filed against him for making allegedly inflammatory speeches, PTI reported.
The court adjourned the hearing after the counsel for Imam sought more time to file additional documents in the case.
Imam was booked for delivering allegedly inflammatory speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in December last year and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in April. Last month, the police had filed a chargesheet before a court in Delhi, accusing him of sedition.
In his plea, Imam has also sought that all his criminal cases be transferred to Delhi and that the case is investigated by a single agency.
On June 19, the court refused to pass any interim orders in the case as it had not seen replies of all the five states which had lodged cases against Imam. While the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi had filed their counter-affidavits, the governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh had not done the same.
The Delhi police had registered an FIR against Imam on January 25 under sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (promoting or attempting to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever) of the Indian Penal Code.
“Two videos came to light, one was on December 13 at Jamia Milia Islamia and other was on January 16 at Aligarh, where it was noticed that Imam had delivered very inflammatory speeches in opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens and such comments can potentially affect religious harmony and weaken the unity and integrity of the country,” the police had said.
Last month, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory had also claimed that 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.
In a clip on social media, Imam was purportedly heard telling protestors to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. The comment was widely perceived as secessionist, but Imam later claimed that he had called for peaceful protests to “block roads going to Assam” – “basically a call for chakka jam”.
In the chargesheet against Imam, the police had 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”.
On Tuesday, Imam was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with communal violence that broke out in the national capital in February.