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Sharjeel Imam moves lower court for bail in sedition case - 2 min read

New Delhi: Activist Sharjeel Imam on Friday May 27 approached the Delhi’s Karkardooma court seeking bail in connection with the sedition case registered against him for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in 2020.

The move came following Thursday’s Delhi High Court direction, in which he was asked to approach the lower court first for bail.

Imam had approached the High Court for relief following the historic Supreme Court verdict that put on hold the colonial-era penal provision of sedition (Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code).

During the hearing in the high court, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad opposed the maintainability of the interim bail application citing a 2014 apex court verdict. As per the Supreme Court order, the bail plea should be before the special court first and if aggrieved, an appeal can be moved before the High Court, he argued.

Considering the SPP’s submissions, the bench asked the appellant to approach the lower court first.

In the fresh bail application, Imam said that since the top court has put sedition in abeyance, his case has improved for the grant of bail.

“The appellant has been incarcerated for nearly 28 months since January 28, 2020 whereas the maximum punishment for the offences — not including 124-A IPC– are punishable up to a maximum of 7 years of imprisonment,” the plea read.

JNU scholars and activists Imam and Umar Khalid are among the nearly a dozen people involved in the alleged larger conspiracy case linked with the Delhi riots 2020, as per the Delhi Police.

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Imam and Khalid are facing charges in connection with the inflammatory speeches which are allegedly fuelled the violence, as per the police. The riots broke out in the national capital in February 2020 as clashes between the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-CAA protesters took a violent turn. The mayhem, which coincided with the then US President Donald Trump’s maiden trip to India, saw more than 50 people lose their lives and over 700 were injured.

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