“Not a case of invalidity of sanction, a case of nullity of sanction”, Shifa Ur Rehman in Bail Plea before Delhi Court

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Seeking bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, accused and President of the Alumni Association of the Jamia Milia Islamia (AAJMI) today argued before the court that, "This is not a case of invalidity of sanction, it is a case of nullity of sanction. The precondition is not satisfied, so the sanction is a nullity.”

Rehman argued that that power to grant sanction for prosecution under Section 45 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act requires independent review. However, this exercise was not carried out by the Centre.

In the previous hearing, Singh had made arguments on principles of parity.

Singh argued that after Centre granted sanction to probe the matter on for completion of the exercise as contemplated under law, however, probe was not complete as prosecution made an application for extension of investigation on Aug 4, 2020.

Hence on Jul 31, 2020, if investigation was not complete, the independent review of evidence gathered could not have taken place, submitted Singh.

It was argued that no other person from the Alumni Association has been made an accused in the present case which was against the rule of parity.

Singh also raised objections  on prosecution using the words “protestors” and “rioters” interchangeably. Singh argued that if all the protestors were rioters, then all should have been booked like Rehman.

“There is a difference between protestors and rioters. Protest is a fundamental right. Here I am arguing why he is placed in the bracket of rioters and not protestors. He paid some amount for protestors but does that amount to an offence under UAPA”, submitted Singh.

“If certain section of society is aggrieved by a piece of legislation and they protest against it, that is not a crime. They can certainly protest.”

Singh further argued that “Being a member of JCC simpliciter is not an offence. JCC is a WhatsApp group. My mobile data analysis has been done on 24.8.2020 and there is not a single message which shows instigation of violence. AAJMI infact made appeal for peaceful protest.”

Referring to the mobile data analysis report, Singh said that Rehman was only the recipient of messages, no message was sent by him.  

Singh also pointed out that the JCC group was a responsible group which asked its students to prioritise their exams and protest in a peaceful manner.  

Referring to the complaint filed by Rehman and others, Singh submitted that Rehman was responsible not to write the words uttered by Thakur during the Riots. However the police did not register any FIR against them.

The Court of ASJ Amitabh Rawat has listed the matter for next hearing on Sep 8 for arguments on chargesheet.

Case Title: Shifa-Ur- Rehman vs NCT Delhi

Edited by: Shreya Agarwal