NEW DELHI: High Court asked Sharjeel Imam to approach the lower court for bail in the Sedition case registered against him for his allegedly provocative hate speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A Division Bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna ordered the Supreme Court’s direction to keep all pending appeals and proceedings with respect to the charge framed under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized Sedition, in abeyance.
Earlier, Imam filed the application for bail in his already pending appeal before the High Court following the apex court’s order.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad raised an objection that in terms of the orders of the Supreme Court in a 2014 matter, any such bail application would first go to the trial court, and only if the relief is not granted, can the accused move the High Court.
In his new plea before the High Court, Imam submitted that his bail was rejected by the lower court primarily because it had seen it fit to frame Sedition charges, after finding that a prima facie offence under Section 124A was made out against him.
“In view of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions, the hindrance raised by the Ld. Special Court in the impugned order stands obviated, and observations surrounding the offence under section 124-A IPC cannot be taken into consideration in the proceedings against the Appellant pending the final outcome of the Constitutional challenges to the section,” the application stated.
The High Court will now consider Sharjeel Imam appeal against framing of Sedition charges on August 26.