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Delhi Police have challenged in the Supreme Court the court order to fire Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and eight others in the 2019 Jamia violence case. The petition is likely to be heard on Wednesday. In the petition, the police argue that the lower court ignored many important facts and statements of witnesses. Apart from this, strong comments have been made about the study without any justification and this should be rejected.
Imam, Tanha, Zargar, Mohammad Abuzar, Umair Ahmed, Mohammad Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohammad Qasim, Mohammad Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan and Chanda Yadav were dismissed by the lower court on Saturday. Delhi Police had alleged that they were involved in riots and illegal crimes during the 2019 college violence. However, after considering the case, Arul Verma, Judge of Additional Sessions (ASJ), only brought charges against Mohd Ilyas and the others fired.
In his detailed order, Judge Verma strongly criticized the Delhi Police for bringing a malicious charge, saying that the case lacked irrefutable evidence. The court noted that while the crowd caused chaos and disruption on that day, the police the real evildoers failed and made Imam, Tanha, Zargar and others scapegoats. The court said the police randomly selected some people from the crowd as suspects and others as police witnesses. This cherry picking is detrimental to the principle of justice.
Justice Verma said dissent is an extension of the priceless fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, a right that we courts have taken an oath to uphold. The research agencies are supposed to understand the difference between protest and insurrection. The latter must be suppressed unconditionally. The former, however, must be given space, a forum, perhaps for dissent, something that tickles a citizen’s conscience.
The present case relates to the violence that took place in and around Jamia Millia Islamia in December 2019, when some students and local people announced that they would march to parliament to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). However, the protest soon turned violent and some protesting students reportedly entered the university when police used force to suppress them.