The High Court had earlier granted interim anticipatory bail, which was confirmed by the Court after it was informed that only forensic reports were awaited in investigation.

The Bombay High Court last week confirmed the anticipatory bail granted to a student who was booked for allegedly raising a slogan in support of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam at an LGBTQ rally held in Mumbai (Urvashi Chudawala v. State of Maharashtra).

Urvashi Chudawala, a 22-year-old student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), was charged with offences punishable under Sections 124A (sedition) and 153B (disharmony amongst religions) of the Indian Penal Code by the Mumbai Police.

Apprehending arrest by the police, Chudawala had filed an anticipatory bail plea before the High Court.

The High Court had granted interim anticipatory bail on February 11, 2020 which was eventually made absolute by single judge bench of Justice NJ Jamadar.

The Mumbai Police had booked Chudwala on charges of sedition for allegedly raising a slogan in support of Imam, who is himself an accused in a sedition case in connection with the speeches in December 2019 made during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Chudwala was among the 51 people against whom an FIR was filed on Monday last week.

According to the FIR, the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapno ko, hum manzil tak pahuchaenge” (Sharjeel, we will fulfill your dreams) was raised during the gathering.

Advocate Vijay Hiremath for Chudawala claimed that the entire case was based on a video which was already in the custody of the police, and thus no there is no case for custodial interrogation.

Additional Public Prosecutor Anamika Singh for the State informed the Court that “the investigation has reached an advanced stage and only forensic reports are awaited”.

In view of the the nature of accusations made against Chudawala, the Court came to a conclusion that custodial interrogation of the applicant was not warranted.

Hence, the interim order was made absolute.

Earlier, a Mumbai Sessions Court had granted similar relief to another TISS student, Ambadi B also accused of raising slogans in support of Imam.

Source: Bar&Bench


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December 2023


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