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The court was hearing a plea filed by Delhi Police challenging Trial Court's order dated February 4, whereby Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, and 9 others were discharged in Jamia Milia Islamia University violence case.
In a plea filed by the Delhi Police challenging the Trial Court’s order which discharged Sharjeel Imam and 10 others in connection with the Jamia Milia Islamia University violence case of 2019, on Thursday the Delhi High Court directed all the respondents to 'file their written submissions within four days' and also directed the Delhi Police to 'place on the record the videos of the incident they rely upon'.
During the hearing, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma was apprised by a junior counsel of the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) that he was indisposed, and sought an adjournment.
Taking note of the main counsel’s ill health, the single-judge bench listed the matter for further hearing on March 23 at 2 pm. Furthermore, the court directed all the parties to arrange all the videos and electronic media they wish to rely upon in the present matter before the next date of hearing, so that "no further adjournments" are sought by any counsel, and the matter can be concluded on the next date.
It is to be noted that the court on February 13 had issued notice in Delhi Police’s plea challenging the trial court’s order discharging Sharjeel Imam and ten others in the 2019 Jamia Milia Islamia University violence case.
While ordering that the trial court’s order will have no impact on the ongoing investigation or proceeding against an accused namely, Mohd. Ilyad, Justice Sharma had refused to pass any interim direction expunging the observations made by Trial Court as prayed for by the Delhi Police.
Moreover, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on February 10 'allowed' the urgent listing of the plea filed by Delhi Police challenging the Trial Court’s order discharging Sharjeel Imam and ten others in connection with the Jamia Milia Islamia University violence case of 2019. Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta had mentioned the matter before the bench.
It is to be noted that on February 7, the Delhi Police moved the High Court challenging the Trial Court’s order discharging Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Sarfoora Zargar, and 8 others in the 2019 Jamia violence case.
Trial Court Order:
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Arul Varma of the Saket Court, had emphasized that “dissent is simply an extension of the invaluable fundamental right to free speech and expression under Article 19 of the Constitution of India” while discharging Imam, and others in the case.
“Dissent is nothing but an extension of the invaluable fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression contained in Article 19 of the Constitution of India, subject to the restrictions contained. It is therefore a right which we are sworn to uphold”, the Judge had said.
While discharging the 11 accused persons, the court had pulled up the Delhi Police and said, “The police were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope the persons herein as scapegoats”.
“Investigating agencies should have incorporated the use of technology, or have gathered credible intelligence, and then only should have embarked on galvanizing the judicial system qua the accused herein…It should have abstained from filing such an ill-conceived chargesheets qua persons whose role was confined only to being part of a protest”, the Judge had added.
The Judge in the 32-page order had said, “Some anti-social elements within the crowd created an environment of disruption and did create havoc, however, the moot question remains: whether the accused persons herein were even prima facie complicit in taking part in that mayhem? The answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. Marshaling the facts as brought forth from a perusal of the chargesheet and three supplementary chargesheets, this Court cannot but arrive at the conclusion that the police were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope the persons herein as scapegoats".
The FIR, in this case, was filed in connection with a protest held by students and residents of Jamia Nagar against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Trial court discharged Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Sarfoora Zargar, Mohammed Abuzar, Umair Ahmad, Mohammed Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohammed Qasim, Mohammed Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan, Chanda Yadav.
All the accused persons were charged with offences under Sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 186, 323, 353, 332, 333, 308, 341, 427, 435, 120B, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Case Title: State v. Mohd. Qasim & Ors.
Statue: The Indian Penal Code, The Constitution of India, and the Code of Criminal Procedure
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