SC seeks reply from four states on Sharjeel's plea

SC seeks reply from four states on Sharjeel's plea for clubbing of cases

Supreme Court seeks response from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 26)  sought a response from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur on a plea by Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam for clubbing of multiple FIRs lodged against him for his controversial comment during anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protest.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah also gave an additional two weeks to Delhi government in the matter.

Sharjeel was arrested from his native place at Bihar's Jehanabad district on January 28 after his speech for cutting Chicken's neck, connecting India to North East had gone viral. Delhi police filed its charge sheet against him this month only invoking charges of sedition among others.

Senior advocate Sidharth Dave, appearing for Sharjeel, submitted that as many as five FIRs have been lodged on the basis of the same speech in states of Assam, UP, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh. He also pointed out that stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has also been invoked against him.

He wanted to club these cases. He also cited the SC's recent order in the Arnab Goswami case, where the TV journalist was given a similar relief on lodging of over 100 FIRs across the country for his remark against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Dave submitted that there were two speeches made by him one in Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi and another one at Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi government, submitted that a reply by it was ready and could be filed on Wednesday (May 27). He also pointed out other states, where cases were lodged, should also be made a party to the matter.

Mehta opposed an attempt made to compare Sharjeel's cases with that of journalist Arnab, saying in his cases, the complaints filed across the country were cyclo-styled.

The court then posted the matter for consideration after two weeks.

Delhi Police have invoked sedition charges against Sharjeel, alleging his speech "promoted enmity" between people that led to riots in and around Delhi's Jamia Milia Islamia University on December 15, 2019.

 

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