Geelani’s bail hearing deferred, cops cite ‘grievous’ sedition charge

  • Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2016 15:54 IST
SAR Geelani, who was tried in the 2001 Parliament attack case with Afzal Guru, was arrested by Delhi Police in February on charges of sedition and unlawful assembly for allegedly organising an event in Press Club. Police claim slogans were raised hailing Guru. (Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

Delhi Police on Friday opposed ex-DU professor SAR Geelani’s bail plea at a city court, citing that the sedition charge he was arrested on was a “grievous” one. Geelani has been in judicial custody since February 16 for allegedly organising an event that generated “hatred” for the government.

In a brief hearing, additional sessions judge Deepak Garg deferred the case to March 19, asking the investigating officer to produce the video evidence based on which police arrested Geelani.

Geelani, who was tried in the 2001 Parliament attack case with Afzal Guru, was arrested for allegedly organising an event in Press Club in which anti-national slogans were said to be raised, video footage of which police claim to have.

Read more: JNU row: DU ex-professor SAR Geelani’s bail plea rejected

A magisterial court had dismissed the bail plea of Geelani on February 19, three days after police arrested him on charges of sedition, unlawful assembly and conspiracy with unknown persons.

At the bail hearing on Friday, the public prosecutor stated he was unable to argue the case as he had not yet seen a copy of the 46-year-old professor’s bail application.

In response to Geelani’s advocate Satish Tamta stating that his client’s bail plea had already been deferred once, the court said the matter would be heard on Saturday.

“Let it (bail plea) be taken up tomorrow morning as the first matter,” the court said.

Police told the court that the February 13 event had banners showing the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs, and a group allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru.

They further stated that the hall at which the event was hosted was booked by the former professor through his associate Ali Javed using a credit card, with the involvement of one Mudassar.

Based on a FIR registration, Javed, a Press Club member, was interrogated by police for two days.

Prosecution had earlier sought to rely on Geelani’s previous arrest in connection with the Parliament attack case. Geelani was acquitted in the matter by Delhi high court in 2003, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005.

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