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Crime & Law

Delhi HC overturns trial court order, frames charges against Sharjeel Imam, 8 others

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | March 28, 2023 04:26 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday partially set aside a trial court's order dated February 4, which had discharged the 11 accused, including Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha and Safoora Zargar in the 2019 Jamia violence case.

This comes after the Delhi Police filed a revision petition against the trial court's order.

During the pronouncement of the order on police's plea on Tuesday, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in her order: "While there is no denial of the right to freedom of expression, this court remains aware of its duty and has tried to decide the issue in that way. Right to peaceful assembly is subject to restriction. Damage to property and peace is not protected."

She then partially reversed the trial court order and framed charges against nine accused under various offences, including rioting, unlawful assembly and more.

The court charged Imam, Zargar, Mohd Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza, Umair Ahmed, Mohd Bilal Nadeem and Chanda Yadav under Sections 143, 147, 149, 186, 353, 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as Sections of the Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act.

Accused Mohd Shoaib and Mohd Abuzar were charged under Section 143 of the IPC, and discharged from all other offences.

In Tanha's case, he was discharged of Sections 308, 323, 341 and 435 of the IPC and charges were framed against him under other Sections.

Judge Sharma had on March 23 reserved the judgement on the police's plea.

During the last hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain for Delhi Police Jain had contended that the trial court (Saket court), "overstepped its jurisdiction" in passing "disparaging and gravely prejudicial observations" against the probe and the investigative agency, and said that the same ought to be expunged from the record.

In December 2019 violence erupted at Jamia Millia Islamia after a clash between the police and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters.

All 11 accused persons -- Imam, Tanha, Zargar, Abuzar, Umair Ahmed, Mohd Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohd Qasim, Mohd Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan, and Chanda Yadav -- were discharged by the trial court on February 4, but it had, however, framed charges of unlawful assembly and rioting against Mohd Ilyas.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Verma had pulled up the police while discharging the accused persons, saying that police were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope in these 11 accused as "scapegoats".

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