New Delhi: Scholar and activist Sharjeel Imam has moved Supreme Court against remarks made by the Delhi high court against him while the court denied bail to activist Umar Khalid in the northeast Delhi riots ‘conspiracy’ case.
In October this year, the high court observed that Khalid had apparently been in “constant touch with other co-accused” and the allegations against him are prima facie true. The court also said the acts of Khalid prima facie qualified as a “terrorist act” under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
It named Imam as one who was “at the head of the conspiracy” and said that Khalid was in touch with him.
Imam has been in jail since January 2020, a month before the riots took place. Khalid has been jailed since September 2020.
According to LiveLaw, Imam has filed a Special Leave Petition with the apex court, noting that these observations were made by the court without offering him an opportunity to be heard.
Imam has said that such observations affect the merits of the criminal case in which he is also an accused – the ‘conspiracy’ FIR through which the Delhi Police has claimed that activists protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act were responsible for orchestrating the violence of the 2020 riots in northeast Delhi.
Imam’s bail application itself is pending before the same high court, leading him to contend to the Supreme Court that the court’s remarks will prejudice the outcome of his bail application.
He also notes that the high court’s remarks on him were neither integral to deciding Khalid’s bail plea, and nor were they able to honour the principles of natural justice.
The judgment through which the Delhi high court denied bail to Khalid has been criticised by legal experts who cited that it had little more than the session court’s order through which it denied bail to Khalid.