Delhi HC To Hear Bail Applications of Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid in Late May

The Delhi HC stated that the bail applications of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam shall be heard on the 19th, 20th, 23rd and 26th of May.

On May 6th, Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar of the Delhi High Court stated that the bail applications of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam shall be heard on the 19th, 20th, 23rd, and 26th of May, 2022.

In February 2020, the Delhi Police charged activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid with instigating the 2020 Delhi Riots during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. Khalid was charged under s 425 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) (vandalism), as well as under s 435 (arson), ss 147 and 148 (rioting), s 302 (murder), s 124A (sedition), and s 149 (unlawful assembly). He was also charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, and the Arms Act, 1959.

For his speeches at Jamia Milia Islamia University (in Delhi) and Aligarh Muslim University (in Uttar Pradesh) in January 2020, Sharjeel Imam was charged under various provisions of the IPC, including Section 124A (sedition), s 121 (waging war against the Government), and s 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion). Imam was also charged under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.

In March and April 2022 respectively, Khalid and Imam were denied bail by a Sessions Court in Delhi. They appealed against the Sessions Court’s bail orders at the Delhi High Court. On April 29th, the High Court agreed to hear both appeals together.

On May 6th, Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, arguing on behalf of Sharjeel Imam, stated that FIRs had been filed in Delhi against Imam for the two speeches attributed to him at Aligarh and Jamia. Separate FIRs were filed against him in Uttar Pradesh for his speech at Aligarh Muslim University. The Allahabad High Court granted him bail in the Uttar Pradesh case involving his speech at Aligarh, finding that it contained no call for violence.

Justice Siddharth Mridul asked Mr. Mir to take the Bench through the Uttar Pradesh FIR filed against Imam for his speech in Aligarh. However, Mr. Mir conceded that the FIR was not placed on record.

The Bench subsequently granted Mr. Mir time to place the FIR and chargesheet filed against Imam in Aligarh on record. The Bench will hear Imam’s bail application in the Aligarh and Jamia speeches case filed in Delhi on the 26th of May. The Bench will hear Umar Khalid’s bail application for the Delhi Riots conspiracy case on May 19th and 20th, and Mr. Imam’s application for the same case on May 23rd.