2019 Jamia Violence: HC Reserves Order on Police Plea Challenging Discharge of 11 People

 The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea by Delhi Police challenging a trial court order discharging JNU student Sharjeel Imam and student activists Asif Iqbal Tanha and Safoora Zargar in a 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the lawyers for Delhi Police and 11 people, who were discharged by the trial court, for two-and-a half hours.

The case concerns the violence that erupted after a clash between police and people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Jamia Nagar area here in December 2019.

The trial court had in its February 4 order discharged 11 people in the case while holding that they were made “scapegoats” by police and that dissent has to be encouraged, not stifled.

The police, in its revision petition, has said the trial court’s order is in the teeth of well settled principles of law, suffers from grave infirmities which go to the root of the matter and is perverse.

The police plea also said the trial court has not only discharged the accused persons but was also swayed by “emotional” and “sentimental feelings” and has cast aspersions on the prosecuting agency and passed “gravely prejudicial” and “adverse” remarks against the prosecuting agency and the investigation.

Defending his discharge in the case, Imam has said that he only campaigned in favour of peaceful protest and “chakka jam” cannot be called a “violent method of protest”.

While discharging the 11 accused, the trial court had ordered framing of charges against one of the accused Mohammad Ilyas.

The Jamia Nagar police station had filed charge sheet under several provisions of the Indian Penal Code against Imam, Tanha, Zargar, Mohammad Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza Khan, Mohammad Abuzar, Mohammad Shoaib, Umair Ahmad, Bilal Nadeem, Chanda Yadav and Mohammad Ilyas.

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