A Delhi court judge has recused himself from hearing a matter related to 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case citing "personal reasons".
"Due to personal reasons, the undersigned hereby recuses from hearing the matter. Accordingly, let the present matter be put up before the principal district and sessions judge, southeast district, Saket court, for February 13 at 12 pm with a request to transfer the matter," said Additional Sessions Judge Arul Verma, who had recently discharged 11 accused, including Sharjeel Imam and Asif Iqbal Tanha, in the same case.
The accused in the present case include Meeran Haider, Ashu Khan, Qasim Usmani, Mohammad Hassan, Mohd Jamal, Mohd Sahil Muddassir, Faheem Hasmee, Sameer Ahmad, Mohd Umar, Mohd Adil, Roohul Ameer, Chandan Kumar, and Saqib Khan.
On February 4, when ASJ Verma had discharged 11 accused, he had pulled up the police, saying that they were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope in these 11 accused as 'scapegoats'.
The violence had erupted after a clash between the police and people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019.
The ASJ had said that the protesters were surely there in large numbers and it cannot be denied that some anti-social elements within the crowd created an environment of disruption.
However, the moot question remains as to whether the accused persons herein were even prima facie complicit in taking part in that mayhem, he had asked.
"The answer is an unequivocal 'no'. Marshalling the facts as brought forth from a perusal of the charge sheet and three supplementary charge sheets, this court cannot but arrive at the conclusion that the police were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope in the persons herein as scapegoats," he had said.
He had said that to allow the persons charge-sheeted to undergo the rigmarole of a long-drawn trial does not augur well for the criminal justice system of our country.
He had added that such police action is "detrimental to the liberty" of the citizens who choose to exercise their fundamental right to peacefully assemble and protest.
On Friday, the High Court allowed urgent listing of the plea moved by the police against the Saket court's order discharging Sharjeel Imam and 10 others.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, which allowed it to be heard on February 13.