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New Delhi:

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam has approached the Delhi High Court seeking default bail in connection with a matter pertaining to giving an inflammatory speech.

The plea filed through a legal team headed by advocate Bhavook Chauhan sought court’s direction to release Imam on default bail under section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The plea also challenged the trial court order by which the court had granted more time to the Delhi Police Crime Branch for filing the charge sheet in the case.

Last week, Delhi’s Patiala House Court dismissed the bail application filed by Sharjeel Imam in the matter pertaining to giving an inflammatory speech, asserting that it is bereft of merit.

In his bail application, Sharjeel had claimed that the police did not complete the investigation within the statutory 90-day period following his arrest.

“The applicant was arrested on 28.01.2020 and the statutory period of 90 days would have concluded on 27.04.2020. Till 27.04.2020, the investigation was not concluded, and the accused has an indefeasible right to be released on bail,” the bail application stated.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana, however, noted that extension of the time period to conclude the investigation was already given before the expiry of the statutory period, on April 25. In his plea before the Delhi High Court, Imam has challenged the said order too.

Earlier on May 1, the Delhi Police had told the city court that Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was invoked against Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam for inciting a particular religious community to disrupt the sovereignty of the country.

The police said that his speeches were communal in nature, which caused serious communal strife and promoted enmity between various religious groups. By the way of his speech, he spread falsehood of genocide in Assam.

The police said that after his speech on January 16, many protest sites started emerging in the city, roads were blocked, and tents were erected to sit in to protest. These sites were later on to become the initiation of riots in Delhi in February 2020.

Sharjeel Imam came in the eye of the storm for his “inflammatory” speech in Delhi’s Jamia over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on December 13 and subsequently on January 16 at the Aligarh Muslim University, where he allegedly threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the Northeast from the country.

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