New Delhi, Jan 15: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the police to compile a chart distinguishing the role of student activist Sharjeel Imam, who is currently under arrest in a UAPA case related to the alleged broader conspiracy behind the 2020 communal riots in the city, from co-accused Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal Tanha.
The court directive came during the hearing of Imam’s bail plea, scheduling the next hearing for February 19.
Imam, seeking bail on grounds of parity, argued that six out of the 18 accused named in the FIR have already been granted relief.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad opposed the plea, stressing the need to consider the distinct roles attributed to different accused in the larger conspiracy. He noted the importance of examining the nature of Imam’s speeches and activities, arguing that he cannot be equated with other accused.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the police’s appeal against bail granted to Narwal, Kalita, and Tanha, Prasad stated that it is Imam’s responsibility to convince the court about the merit of his case.
The court has asked written submissions from both Imam’s counsel and the Delhi Police before the next hearing. Imam, Khalid Saifi, and others, including Umar Khalid, face charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code for allegedly orchestrating the February 2020 riots in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).