Sharjeel Imam sedition case: SC defers hearing of plea to club FIRs against JNU student by two weeks
Sharjeel Imam was formally arrested by Delhi Police over links in the Delhi riots case on Tuesday and was produced before the court on Wednesday
The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing by two weeks on the plea of JNU student and anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam who has sought clubbing of multiple FIRs levelling sedition charges against him for allegedly making inflammatory speeches.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah said it will hear the matter after two weeks as the counsel appearing for Imam sought time to file some additional documents in the case.
On 19 June, the top court had said it cannot pass any interim orders without seeing the replies of all the five states where FIRs were lodged against Imam.
The apex court was earlier informed that the governments of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have filed their counter affidavits on Imam's plea but no responses have been filed by Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
The apex court had on May 26 sought responses from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur on the plea and had given another opportunity to the Delhi government to file its reply in the matter.
On 1 May, the top court had sought the Delhi government's reply on the plea.
In his plea, Imam has also sought transfer of all criminal cases against him to the national capital and probe by a single agency.
Imam's counsel had earlier told the top court that five FIRs have been registered against him in different states in connection with two speeches given in Delhi and in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
The lawyer had said that FIRs are lodged against Imam in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and he has been booked under sedition charges.
The Delhi Police has booked Imam under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), he had said.
On 28 January, Imam was arrested by Delhi Police's crime branch from Bihar's Jehanabad in a sedition case for allegedly making inflammatory speeches in Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh.
The PhD student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University's (JNU) Centre for Historical Studies has been booked on sedition and other charges after purported videos of his alleged inflammatory speeches made during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) were circulated on social media.
An FIR was registered against him by Delhi Police on 25 January under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 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) among others.
"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," police had said.
A graduate in computer science from IIT-Mumbai, Imam had shifted to Delhi for pursuing research at the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU.
Delhi riots: Court frames charges against nine accused, says 'miscarriage of justice' to throw out case over police delay
The nine accused were allegedly part of the unlawful assembly and caused damage, looted properties worth crores of rupees, burnt a large number of houses, shops, schools, and vehicles on February 25, 2020, as per the police
He came to the social media spotlight, courtesy a video that went viral in January 2020, where he was allegedly heard ‘instigating people’ to cut Assam off India during a speech at the Aligarh Muslim University on 16 December, 2019