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JNU Row: Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea likely to be heard on Tuesday by Delhi HC

Apoorva Mandhani
21 Feb 2016 11:27 AM GMT
JNU Row: Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea likely to be heard on Tuesday by Delhi HC
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JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar’s petition will most likely be heard on Tuesday by the Delhi High Court, as confirmed by Mr. Kumar’s lawyer, Advocate Vrinda Grover to LiveLaw.

The matter could not be posted last week, as there reportedly existed a difference of opinion between Kanhaiya’s legal team and the High Court Registry, on the issue of the provision under which the petition should be filed.

Mr. Kumar’s lawyers wished to file a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking to get the FIR against him quashed, as being violative of his Fundamental Rights. The HC Registry had however suggested that the matter could be expedited if filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as it had received the case file from the Apex Court.

In the bail plea, Mr. Kumar contends that he has been “falsely implicated” and booked under charges of sedition. He has denied raising any anti-national slogans during the event organized at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Mr. Kumar’s lawyers had rushed to the High Court, after a Division Bench of the Supreme Court refused to entertain his bail application, directing him to file the application before Delhi High Court with proper amendments. He had moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, citing ‘extraordinary circumstances’ prevailing in the Patiala House Court. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

You may also read: Why SC asked Kanhaiya to approach Delhi HC for bail. The reasoning

Mr. Kumar has been charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy over his comments on the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. On 11 February, BJP MP Maheish Girri and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP’s student wing, had filed a complaint against unknown persons under Section of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Since the time of his arrest, there have been several protest marches across the streets of New Delhi, demanding his release.

The row had taken an ugly turn last week, when at least ten journalists and several students were assaulted by lawyers and a Delhi BJP MLA inside and outside the Patiala House Courts, where he was to be produced for remand proceedings before Metropolitan magistrate, Lovleen, in the Patiala House Courts. However, the ensuing violence in the Court premises had forced Mr. Kumar to be produced before the Magistrate at the Vasant Kunj Police Station, where his police custody was extended for two more days, after in-camera proceedings. Bar Council of India had taken a serious note of the incident and decided to conduct an inquiry headed by a former High Court Judge. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

An inquiry report of the incident released by the National Human Rights Commission had pointed out that the Patiala House Courts violence appeared to be organized and pre-planned. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear a Petition filed by a Social Worker and Alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) seeking immediate intervention of the Court in the Patiala House Court incident. According to the Petitioner Mr. N.D. Jayaprakash, the immediate cause for the filing of the petition is the physical violence and intimidation faced by the Petitioner and a large number of students, teachers and journalists while attending the judicial proceedings before the Court of Sh. Loveleen, Metropolitan Magistrate court complex in the presence of Delhi Police. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

Acting on the petition, the Apex Court had then condemned the incident and observed, “Moderation seemed to be a forgotten word in today’s society which was a dangerous trend. We are not taking any sides or going into merits but atmosphere in and around a courtroom cannot be vitiated like this. This is a matter of concern as this phenomenon is increasingly being seen in sensational cases.” It had also directed the Commissioner of Police to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of the accused until he is produced next before the trial court. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

On Tuesday, eminent scholars and intellectuals from around the world, including philosopher Noam Chomsky, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, Columbia University professor Sheldon Pollock and filmmaker Mira Nair, had issued a statement of “heartfelt solidarity” with the JNU students and faculty.

“We not only condemn the culture of authoritarian menace that the present government in India has generated, but urge all those genuinely concerned about the future of India and Indian universities to protest in wide mobilization against it,” the statement said. Former students of National Law University, Delhi had also issued a statement in solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University. You may read the statement here.

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