Bombay High Court Orders, No coercive action taken against Sharjeel Usmani if he co-operates with investigation

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed Muslim student activist Sharjeel Usmani to appear before the Pune Police after being assured by the Maharashtra government that no coercive steps shall be taken towards him if he seems for interrogation, legal web site Bar and Bench reported.

Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale issued notice in the plea filed by Usmani for quashing the First Info Report (FIR) accusing him of constructing “hateful speeches” in Elgar Parishad 2021 edition.

Senior lawyer Mihir Desai, appearing for Usmani, informed court that Usmani had been summoned by the Pune police for interrogation on Wednesday. Desai raised apprehension that if Usmani goes for interrogation, he could also be arrested by the police.

The court on Tuesday adjourned the listening to on his plea to Monday.

Following a complaint lodged by the Pune regional secretary of BJYM, a Hindu fringe group, at the Swargate police station in Pune, on 2 February Pune Police booked Usmani under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of faith, race, place of birth, residence, language, and many others, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.

In his petition to Bombay HC, Usmani mentioned the FIR is “frivolous and baseless” and has been registered on the basis of a select few statements taken out of context.

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