Justifiable grounds for extending probe time in UAPA case towards Sharjeel: HC

New Delhi, July 10

The Delhi High Court on Friday held there have been good and justifiable grounds for extending the time to finish investigation towards JNU pupil Sharjeel Imam in a case associated to alleged inflammatory speeches in the course of the protests towards the CAA and the NRC.

The excessive courtroom mentioned after perusing the main points of the investigation carried out until the appliance or report was filed by the prosecution within the trial courtroom and the factors nonetheless pending to be carried out by the investigating authority, the choice to increase the interval for finishing up the probe couldn’t be faulted with.

Justice V Kameswar Rao dismissed the plea by Imam, who was arrested on January 28, difficult the trial courtroom’s June 25 order granting three extra months to the Delhi Police, past the statutory 90 days, to finish the investigation within the case below the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or the UAPA.

“This court has already held there are good/justifiable grounds for extending the investigation. In view of my above conclusion, the present petition filed by the petitioner (Imam) is devoid of merit and is as such dismissed,” the decide, in its 54-page order, mentioned.

The excessive courtroom famous that the prosecutor’s report filed within the trial courtroom acknowledged “since March 24, 2020, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic a lockdown has been imposed due to which the pace of investigation was seriously disrupted” and mentioned this “clearly depicts the reasons for not completing the investigation in 90 days”.

Imam was arrested on January 28 from Bihar’s Jehanabad district within the case associated to the violent protests towards the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) close to the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) college right here in December final yr.

The statutory interval of 90 days from the arrest had concluded on April 27.

He had additionally sought default bail within the matter on the bottom that the probe was not concluded inside the statutory interval of 90 days and when the police had filed an software for extra time to finish the investigation, he was not given a discover as required below the legislation. The trial courtroom had dismissed the bail plea.

The excessive courtroom, in its verdict, mentioned Imam had not challenged the addition of Section 13 (punishment for illegal actions) below the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to the record of offences, he was accused of.

The excessive courtroom mentioned the submission of Imam’s counsel was “not appealing” that mere copy of the appliance of the investigating authority by the prosecutor and recording his satisfaction for praying to increase the time of the probe didn’t exhibit software of thoughts.

It mentioned the submission of senior advocate Rebecca John, representing Imam, that the submitting of the appliance by the prosecution on the 88th day of the arrest was clearly malafide solely to disclaim the statutory bail to the petitioner, was additionally not convincing.

“This I say so because the addition of Section 13 of the UAPA to the offences has not been contested. The UAPA provides for extension of the period of investigation for a further period of 90 days, that is, totalling 180 days,” the decide mentioned.

The excessive courtroom famous that the submission of Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, representing the police, that the intent of the investigating authority was to finish the investigation within the unique time interval.

“It is only, when the period prescribed for completing the investigation is expiring that an application for extension of the period of investigation would lie and further moving the application / report much in advance would be clearly premature and the court could comment that sufficient period is still available for completing the investigation and may reject the same. It is only when despite efforts, investigation could not be completed in time, that the investigating authority approached the court for extension. In any case there is no bar in law for moving the application on the 88th day, are appealing,” the excessive courtroom famous as Lekhi’s submissions.

Regarding Imam’s submission that no formal discover was given to him or his lawyer by the trial courtroom informing them concerning the police’s software, the excessive courtroom mentioned written discover giving causes will not be the requirement of legislation.

“The fact that the counsel of the petitioner was in the knowledge about the impending application / report seeking extension of time for completion of the investigation beyond 90 days and a written notice giving reasons is not the requirement of law, I find, there is a compliance of principles of natural justice,” the decide mentioned, including that no prejudice has been triggered to the accused.

Imam is at the moment lodged in Guwahati jail in a case associated to the UAPA registered by the Assam police.

Initially, a case below Section 124 A (Sedition) and 153 A of the IPC (selling enmity between courses) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC was lodged by the Crime Branch right here, pursuant to the alleged speeches addressed by Imam, allegedly instigating a specific non secular part of the society to disrupt/block the entry to North East area of India from remainder of India, police had claimed.

Imam was allegedly concerned in organising protests at Shaheen Bagh however got here into limelight after a video confirmed him making controversial feedback earlier than a gathering at Aligarh Muslim University, following which he was booked below sedition prices.

Separate circumstances have additionally been registered towards him in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. PTI

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