Anti CAA protests: Sharjeel Imam’s Plea challenging the extension of  time for investigation rejected by Delhi HC

JNU student Sharjeel Imam, one of the accused organizers of  the Anti CAA protests that took place in December 2019, was arrested on January 28. Accusing him for making provocative speeches, FIRs under Sections 153A, 124A, 505 of the IPC were filed.

On the 88th day of the investigation, the Delhi Police, citing the hindrance caused by Covid19, had requested for an extension of remand of the accused. Additionally, charges were also filed under Section 13 of the UAPA Act, 1967. The request was granted by the trial court.

Aggrieved by the trial court’s order, Sharjeel Imam had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the extension and addition of charges under UAPA, that were made just before the end of his 90 days remand period. The addition of the UAPA charges before the end of the 90 day period curtails his right to statutory bail.

Justice V. Kameswar Rao, presiding over the hearing, dismissed the appeal. Referring to the detailed reports of the process of investigation and the reasons for an extension appeal submitted, the single bench stated that the Delhi Police had “justifiable/good” reasons for the same.

The petitioner also claimed that he was not notified of the trial court’s approval of extension, hence causing another violation of his rights. The Delhi Police argued that the petitioner’s advocate was informed of the same by the investigating officer via Whatsapp. Relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in Sanjay Dutt V. State, it was held that it is not mandatory for a written notice and since his representative was informed, there was no violation of natural justice

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