Delhi Police have argued in the High Court that the trial court’s order to expel 11 people including student activists Sharjeel Imam and Asif Iqbal Tanha in the 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case was manifestly illegal and improper.
In a petition, police said the trial court’s order violated established legal principles, was seriously flawed, went to the root of the problem and was not justified in the eyes of the law.
The request is scheduled for a hearing on Monday.
The petition seeks to revoke the trial court’s February 4 order to release the 11 accused in the case, arguing that they are “scapegoats” by the Delhi Police and that dissent must be encouraged rather than suppressed.
However, the trial court ordered charges against one of the accused, Mohammad Elias.
In December 2019, in the Jamia Nagar area, violence broke out following clashes between police and people protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The police stated that the court of first instance not only released the defendant, but was also swayed by emotions and emotions, slandered the procuratorate, and made serious prejudice and unfavorable remarks against the procuratorate and the investigation.
“The trial court, while failing to consider and weigh the evidence on the record, proceeded to release the defendant (defendant) at the stage in which the charges were laid. The trial court erred not only in conducting a mini-trial at this stage, but also recording inaccuracies contrary to the record. justified findings to arrive at the findings of the dismissal case filed against the defendant,” the petition said.
It added that at the stage of considering the dismissal application, the court must assume that the material filed by the prosecution is true and evaluate said material and documents to ascertain whether the facts arising therefrom are true. On the face of it, they reveal the presence of all the ingredients that make up the alleged crime.
“At this stage, the probative value of the materials has to be considered and the court is not expected to look into the matter in depth and find that the materials do not warrant a conviction,” it said.
Police said the trial court’s order would indicate it had proceeded to issue an opinion on the merits of the matter.
“The trial court should not consider the pros and cons of the matter or weigh the pros and cons of the matter when exercising judicial thinking on the facts of the case to judge whether the prosecution should proceed. Evidence and probability, this is done at the trial stage.
“The challenged order is void, unfactual, and contrary to established principles of law,” the request said, adding that the trial court’s order was “manifestly unlawful.”
It said the trial court erroneously concluded that the interviewees were mere bystanders or bystanders, and therefore the mere presence of a person at the scene of a protest was not sufficient to support a charge of being a member of such an assembly.
The imam has been charged with inciting a riot after delivering a provocative speech at Jamia Meglia University on December 13, 2019. He remains in custody as he is accused in a larger plot to unrest in northeast Delhi in 2020.
The trial court had said there were indeed dozens of protesters and that some anti-social elements in the crowd may have created a chaotic and disruptive environment.
“However, the moot question remains – were the defendants here ostensibly complicit in that mess? The answer is unequivocally no,” it added.
Noting that the defendants were only present at the protest and there was no evidence against them, the trial court stated that dissent is an extension of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to reasonable limitations.
It has said that investigative agencies need to discern the difference between dissent that must be given space and an insurgency that should be quelled.
It also accused the police of failing to produce any evidence of WhatsApp chats, text messages or other interactions between the defendants, and criticized the police’s “arbitrary” selection of individuals from the crowd to serve as defendants and police witnesses, saying it was “cherry-picking” by the police. detrimental to the principle of fairness.
The Jamia Nagar Police Department has charged Imam, Tanha, Safoora Zargar, Mohammad Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza Khan, Mohammad Abuzar, Mohammad Shoaib, Umair Ahmad, Bilal Nadeem, Chanda Yadav and Mohammad Ilyas.
The charge sheets were filed under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 148 (riot, carrying deadly weapon), 186 (obstructing a public servant in the performance of his duties), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from performing his duties), 308 (attempt to manslaughter), 435 (fire or explosive mischief with intent to cause damage), 323 (inflicting injury voluntarily), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The fee schedule also includes provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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