The Allahabad High Court granted bail to ex-JNU student and activist Sharjeel Imam, who had been arrested on charges of delivering a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) last year during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and was booked for sedition, saying that his speech did not incite violence,
A single bench comprising Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, directing that Sharjeel be released on bail in cases registered under sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and some other sections of the IPC, said that the latter had neither ''called anyone to bear arms nor any violence was incited as a result of the speech delivered" by him.
''The exact imputations made and the effect prompted by the applicant by words uttered or gestures made etc may remain to be examined at the trial which is yet to commence,'' the court observed.
It said that the applicant (Imam) had remained confined for more than one year and two months against a maximum punishment that he might suffer on conviction being three years could be the reason alone for him to be entitled to bail.
The prosecution had contended that Imam had delivered an "anti-India" speech at the AMU during the protests against the CAA. Despite the bail, Imam would not be released from jail as he is also an accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with 2020 Delhi riots. Sharjeel had been arrested from Bihar last year.
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