The Delhi high court on Thursday will pronounce its verdict on two petitions filed by private individuals seeking a cancellation of the bail granted to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with a sedition case.
The two separate petitions filed by Prashant Kumar Umrao and Vineet Jindal – both Delhi residents – have sought the cancellation of the student leader’s bail on the ground that his speech after his release was “anti-national” and violated the bail condition.
During last hearing, the Delhi government and city police took different stands on the issue.
While the government said it did not want to cancel the interim bail granted to Kanhaiya, Delhi Police contended he violated his bail conditions but left it to the court to form its own opinion on the issue.
In its report, however, Delhi Police did not clarify its stand on the issue of cancellation of Kanhaiya’s bail. Instead, it gave a list of activities carried out by the student leader after coming out on bail and asked the court to form an opinion after perusing it.
Justice PS Teji, who was hearing the pleas, took strong objection to the response of the Delhi Police saying, “I do not want you (police) to play hide-and-seek with the court. From last three dates (in the high court) you are not clear whether you want his (Kanhaiya) bail to be cancelled or not”.
“The reply you filed is very funny which states that the court will decide (on its own) the bail cancellation issue…Why are you playing with the court?” the judge remarked.
After the arguments concluded, the court reserved its order on the petitions.
During the hearing, Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra had said, “Our stand is very clear. We don’t’ want his (Kanhaiya) bail cancelled”.
Advocate RP Luthra, appearing for Umrao, alleged that Kanhaiya’s speech and slogans challenged the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. Luthra said they were in clear violation of the conditions of the interim bail.
Kanhaiya, who was granted interim bail on March 2 by the high court, is facing sedition charge in connection with an event at JNU on February 9 where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hailed as a ‘martyr’.