Court allows pre-arrest bail of two TISS students booked for sedition over pro-Sharjeel slogans

By PTI

MUMBAI: A court here has granted pre-arrest bail to two students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) here in a sedition case registered against them for allegedly shouting slogans in support of former JNU student Sharjeel Imam at an LGBTQ event here in February last year.

The anticipatory bail of Ambadi B and Amir Ali was allowed by additional sessions judge M G Deshpande.

But a detailed order of Ambadi was available on Wednesday.

The court noted that there was nothing before it to show that he was part of the gathering and raised anti-national slogans.

Careful perusal of the FIR indicates that there is a clear mention that only one woman Urvashi Chudawala was giving slogans and the group was responding to the same by clapping in chorus, the court said.

“Main accused Urvashi Chudawala is already enjoying the interim protection granted by the (Bombay) High Court.

Basically there is nothing before the court to even hold that the present applicant was part of the said assembly and gave anti-nation slogans attributing sedition,” it added.

“The accused is a 22-year-old and his education is in progress.

Arrest has far-reaching consequences as the same may spoil the career of the student forever.

If the application is rejected, the same will cause irreparable loss to the applicant,” the court said.

According to the police, around 300 people had gathered at a rally organised by Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer (LGBTQ) community at Azad Maidan in February last year.

There were multiple small groups and many of them were giving slogans, it said.

According to police, one woman (later identified as Chudawala) allegedly shouted the slogan “Sharjeel Tere Sapno Ko Hum Manzil Tak Pahuchaenge” (Sharjeel, we will realise your dreams), while around 50-60 students responded in chorus was responded in chorus.

All of them were clapping and supporting those slogans, police have alleged.

Imam, a PhD student at the Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Historical Studies, was arrested on January 28, 2020 after he was booked in sedition cases lodged across several states for alleged “inflammatory” speeches made during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.