JNU row: Police may not oppose Kanhaiya's bail plea in SC

JNU-Kanhaiya-Kumar JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar being escorted by Delhi police to safety during a law and order breakdown at Delhi's Patiala House Court complex
  • "The present circumstances are exceptional and call for an exceptional remedy."

The Supreme Court on Friday will be hearing the bail plea of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been named in a sedation case.

Kanhaiya on Thursday moved the top court directly for bail saying that he feared for his life.

His bail petition was mentioned before a bench of justices J. Chelameswar and A. M. Sapre by senior advocate Soli J. Sorabjee and Raju Ramachandran who wanted it to be heard on Thursday itself saying that he was "manhandled" even while being brought to the court room.

The apex court is expected to grant Kanhaiya's bail as Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi said that the police would not oppose a bail for the accused. The top cop's latest position is a departure from his original stance as he had claimed that the police had enough evidence to prove Kanhaiya's involvement in holding anti-India event at JNU campus.

Bassi also said that Kanhaiya was young and he should be “given a second chance.” The remarks came in the wake of reports suggesting a goof up on the police action in arresting and booking Kanhaiya for sedition, as the police have reportedly unable to establish a strong evidence to prosecute the accused.

Kanhaiya has been booked under section 124A of Indian Penal Code (IPC). If found guilty, the person can be sentenced to minimum three years and maximum life in prison and with or without fine.

Fear for life

The Delhi's Patiala House Court complex saw two incidents of law and order breakdown, when Kanhaiya was brought in for the hearing of his bail plea. A group of lawyers indulged in violence, assaulting Kanhaiya, JNU students, professors and members of media, who were present at the court to witness the hearing.

Kanhaiya said he is a student and not some hardened criminal and no prejudice would be caused to any one, if he is released on bail.

"The present circumstances are exceptional and call for an exceptional remedy" the petition filed on behalf of Kanhaiya said while claiming him to be innocent.

"The Petitioner is an innocent person, and his presumption of innocence is sacrosanct. However, the mob at the Court complex was ready to lynch the Petitioner as if the Petitioner is guilty, which erodes a citizen's faith in the justice delivery mechanism established under the laws by our Constitution," his bail plea said.

However, when the bench asked Kumar's lawyers whether they can wait until Friday, they agreed. "We will take the matter tomorrow," the bench said on Thursday.

The plea filed through advocate Anindita Pujari said "the situation of dire threat to life of the Petitioner still prevails and further incarceration of the Petitioner in these circumstances is a constant threat to his life. The Petitioner perceives a threat to his life in the prison where there is a great likelihood of an attack on him by his co-prisoners."

In his plea, he said there has been a repeated breakdown of law and order machinery at the Patiala House Court complex, both before and after the order of apex court.

"It is most serious and egregious that such breakdown does not cease even after the writ of this Court.

The situation as it prevails, does not inspire any confidence in the Petitioner and violates his right and aspiration of Justice not only be done, but seem to have been done. The Petitioner's right of access to justice is gravely and severely impeded," the plea further said.

Kumar, who has been booked under sedition charge in connection with an event in JNU where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last week, has been arrested by Delhi Police. He has been remanded to judicial custody until March 2.

(With inputs from PTI)

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