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The Supreme Court today refused to stay the prosecution on sedition cases filed against JNU student, Sharjeel Imam, in various States clarifying that the plea before the Court is only for consolidation of FIRs. (Sharjeel Imam vs Govt of NCT of Delhi & Ors).
A two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and V Ramasubramanian heard a plea by JNU student Sharjeel Imam seeking to club all FIRs filed against him for his speech during the anti-CAA protests in Delhi.
Senior Counsel Siddharth Dave representing the JNU student told the Court today that notice was issued to five States in the previous hearing and yet no reply had been filed by the States. Counsel for Uttar Pradesh, Garima Prashad, however, apprised the Court that a reply on behalf of the State has been filed in this case.
While States of Assam and Manipur sought more time to file their replies, Dave told the Court that there is an urgency in the case given that prosecution against Imam would begin in the States and the Court is scheduled to go on vacation in the next week.
Dave urged the Court to consider the urgency involved. However, the Court was not inclined to pass an interim order.
Keeping in view the scope of the plea before the Court, the Bench refused to grant a stay on the prosecution of Imam and directed the States to file their replies in a period of three weeks.
During the earlier hearing the top court was apprised by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the reply of the Delhi government was ready. It had then issued notice to the States of Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh where the other FIRs were lodged.
Advocate Siddharth Dave had apprised the Court that the Supreme Court had recently stayed investigation in different FIRs filed across the country against the Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, while keeping only two FIRs alive.
However, Justice Bhushan had observed that "there was nothing wrong with registering FIRs."
The Delhi Police recently slapped sedition charges against Sharjeel Imam, alleging that his speech "promoted enmity" between people and led to riots in and around Delhi's Jamia Mila Islamia University on December 15.