The Saket Court, Delhi has acquitted JNU student Sharjeel Imam and ten others in the violence case near Jamia Millia Islamia. The court acquitted him of the charges and said – dissent is an extension of fundamental rights like freedom of expression.
Arguments are still ongoing in the case related to the December 15 violence. Sharjeel Imam is accused of giving speeches to incite violence. He is also accused of inciting violence in the 2020 riots in Northeast Delhi. On this basis, the action was taken against him under UAPA.
The court while delivering its verdict in the Jamia violence case said, “After perusing the main charge sheet and three supplementary charge sheets filed in this case, the court has come to this conclusion. That the police failed to arrest the real criminals but succeeded in arresting those people (Sharjeel and others) as scapegoats.”
The court acquitted all 11 of them, criticizing the way the police acted, the BBC reported.
Delivering the verdict, Judge Arul Verma said that the police have failed to catch the main conspirators of the violence. Instead, they scapegoated Imam, Tanha and Safoora Zargar. Such police action undermines the freedom of citizens who exercise their fundamental right to assemble for peaceful protest.
The court said that dragging Sharjeel Imam and Asif Iqbal Tandha alone in such a long and tough trial is not good for the country and the criminal justice system.
“It is our duty to oppose anything against our conscience,” the judge said.
The court said that whenever something is against our conscience, we refuse to accept it. We refuse to do so considering it our duty. It becomes our duty to refuse to accept anything that is against our conscience.