The Delhi High Court on Tuesday partially set aside a trial court’s order discharging 11 people, including JNU student Sharjeel Imam and activists Asif Iqbal Tanha and Safoora Zargar, in a 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case, and ordered framing of fresh charges against them.
The high court said prima facie charges of rioting and unlawful assembly are made out against nine of the 11 accused, including Imam, Tanha and Zargar.
Also read: Jamia violence case: Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha cleared of charges
“While there is no denial of the right to freedom of expression, this court remains aware of its duty and has tried to decide the issue in that way. Right to peaceful assembly is subject to restriction. Damage to property and peace is not protected,” Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said while pronouncing the verdict.
The detailed judgment is awaited.
Anti-CAA protests’ case
The case concerns the violence that erupted after a clash between the Delhi Police and those protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the Jamia Nagar area in the national capital in December 2019.
The trial court had in its February 4 order discharged all 11 people from the case while holding that they were made “scapegoats” by police and that dissent has to be encouraged, not stifled.
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The 11 people who were discharged by the trial court in the case are Imam, Tanha, Zargar, Mohammad Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza Khan, Mohammad Abuzar, Mohammad Shoaib, Umair Ahmad, Bilal Nadeem and Chanda Yadav.
(With agency inputs)