A court on Friday refused to entertain the bail plea of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student and activist Sharjeel Imam in a 2019 case related to alleged inflammatory speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
While dismissing the plea, Saket Court Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Aggarwal stated that the tone and tenor of incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace, and harmony.
Citing a quote by Swami Vivekananda, Judge Aggarwal said: “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think; Words are secondary; Thoughts live; they travel far.”
Earlier, his counsel Tanveer Ahmed Mir had argued that being critical of the government cannot be the cause of sedition.
However, the Judge refused to comment if the speech falls under the ambit of section 124A (sedition), stating that the same requires “deeper analysis”.
As per the case, Sharjeel made the alleged inflammatory speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019.
He has been in judicial custody since January 2020. The case relates to FIR 242 registered at PS Crime Branch, New Friends Colony.
As per the prosecution, “On December 15, 2019 at about 11.15 a.m., information regarding a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) by the students and residents of Jamia Nagar was received at the concerned police station. It was reported that the students would march towards Parliament.
“At around 2.20 p.m., a large gathering of about 2,500 people armed with lathis assembled near Escort Hospital, Sarai Julena Chowk. At about 3.22 p.m., despite the warning, the mob consisting of around 3,000 to 3,500 people started advancing towards Sarai Julena Village and Sujan Mahindra Road. When the mob tried to cross the barricades placed by the police at Surya Hotel for marching towards Parliament, they were stopped from marching ahead,” the FIR read.