Supreme Court refused relief to JNU student Sharjeel Imam on May 1, who sought FIRs registered against him across five states to be consolidated, and probe be conducted by a single investigative agency.
Imam, a JNU student, is facing sedition charges for allegedly “promoting enmity”, culminating in riots in and around the Jamia University. The Delhi Police registering an FIR initially, following which similar FIRs were filed in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Imam was represented by Siddharth Dave who argued that the JNU student is facing multiple prosecutions for the same offence. These should be consolidate into a single probe, and a single investigation agency should be tasked to probe the incident. He also sought protection similar to that given to journalist Arnab Goswami.
Multiple complaints and FIRs were filed in various states against the Republic TV editor for allegedly making defamatory remarks against former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Goswami had claimed that FIR’s being registered in various Congress-ruled states alleged that the complaints were a offensive against him. The SC had allowed him relief and stayed proceedings in all states, except for the one in Maharashtra, allowing prosecution in just one FIR.
In Imam’s case, the SC observed that they saw no wrong with filing FIRs if the police were in know of a cognizable offence. With the observation, the SC refused to stay the multiple FIRs. The SC has sought a response from the Delhi Police on the FIR filed, and hinted that the next hearing would be held in 10 days.