Delhi HC refuses default bail to Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected the plea moved by Sharjeel Imam challenging the decision of the trial court whereby the Delhi Police was granted an extension of 3 months, beyond the period of 90 days, to complete the investigation against him for offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

By the virtue of this order pronounced by the Single Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao, Sharjeel Imam will not be released on default bail as Delhi Police has now got 3 more months to complete the investigation against him.

An FIR had been filed against Imam under Sections 153A, 124A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, and pursuant to the same, Imam had been arrested on January 28th. Subsequently, provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, had been invoked against him.

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On the 88th day of his custody, an application to extend time for probe was filed under Section 43D of the UAPA, thereby depriving him of the right to access statutory bail which is granted after 90 days of custody as per Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

In light of the above, Imam’s plea for default bail under Section 167 of CrPC was rejected by the trial court and time was given to the Delhi Police to investigate under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The instant petition before the Delhi High Court has been filed on behalf of Imam to set aside the order of the trial court which had allowed the Delhi Police three more months, beyond the normal statutory 90 days, to conduct an investigation for commission of offences under UAPA.

Senior Advocate Rebecca John, appearing on behalf of Imam, had submitted to the Court that there was no notice issued by the Court regarding the extension of the probe time beyond 90 days under provisions UAPA. She had instead received a WhatsApp message on the 24th of April from the Investigation Officer with respect to the extension being sought under UAPA.

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