JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar admitted to being present at the spot where anti-India slogans were chanted but the “limited controversy” that needs to be probed was whether he was “actively participating” in alleged anti-national activities, Delhi high court has said.
The court on Wednesday added that the Delhi Police Special Cell, which has taken over the investigation, has to ascertain whether Kanhaiya’s February 11 speech contained his original thoughts and faith in the Constitution and nationalist approach, or the speech was to create a “safety gear for himself” for the February 9 incident.
The court refrained from going into a detailed examination of the evidence relied upon by the police while dealing with the bail plea saying, “What was the role played by Kanhaiya on that day is subject matter of investigation and it is desirable at this stage to leave it to the investigating agency to unearth the truth.”
“The petitioner is President of JNU Students Union and actively involved in various activities carried out in the University. He admits his presence at the spot on the alleged date of occurrence. The photographs of the incidents placed on record have been filed to show his presence at the spot,” justice Pratibha Rani said.
“The limited controversy as on date is whether the petitioner was actively participating in the alleged anti-national activities on that day or he was present there only to intervene between two rival factions of the students,” the court said.
It further said that at this stage while deciding the bail plea, it would be necessary to refer to available materials, including FIR, status report, 30 slogans as well as various photographs of the event.
“The FIR in this case has been registered only about three weeks back. The investigation has now been transferred to the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
“At this stage, a detailed examination of the evidence is to be avoided while considering question of bail, to ensure that there is no prejudging and no prejudice, a brief examination for satisfying about the existence or otherwise of a prima facie case is necessary,” the judge said.
The high court observed the police was not disputing that in the video footage of the incident, Kanhaiya was not seen raising any anti-national slogans.
“It is again subject to outcome of investigation that will determine the category in which the accusations against the petitioner would fall,” the judge noted.
The court said, “Investigation is at the initial stage. The petitioner is the President of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union. His presence at the spot on February 9, 2016, has been claimed on the basis of raw video footing of that day i.e. February 9, 2016.
“The petitioner at present is in judicial custody. The question is, in view of the nature of serious allegations against him, the anti-national attitude which can be gathered from the material relied upon by the State should be a ground to keep him in jail.”