SAR Geelani gets bail in sedition case, told not to leave Delhi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2016 00:40 IST
SAR Geelani, the former Delhi University lecturer was booked on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event marking the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at the Press Club of India, in New Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Delhi University professor SAR Geelani, who was arrested on charges of sedition, was granted bail by the Patiala House court on Saturday.

Geelani, who was tried in the 2001 Parliament attack case with Afzal Guru, was arrested for allegedly organising an event in Press Club of India where anti-national slogans were raised. The event generated “hatred” for the government, police said.

Additional sessions judge Deepak Garg granted bail to Geelani, 46, on a personal bond of `50,000 and one surety of the like amount.

“In the circumstances of this case, in my view, no purpose would be served by keeping the applicant (Geelani) in judicial custody anymore, pending further investigations. There is no apprehension by the state of the accused fleeing from justice if released,” the court said.

The judge said Geelani “shall not leave the jurisdiction of Delhi without permission of the court” and asked him to surrender his passport. Detained within days of JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest, Geelani’s judicial custody had earlier been upheld by a magistrate’s court.

The accused pleaded for bail before a Delhi court on February 19 but his application was denied the next day by metropolitan magistrate Harwinder Singh.

Delhi Police told the court that “anti-national” visual representations and speeches were made during the protest.

Geelani’s lawyer Satish Tamta said he had expected “a better reply” from the police as they had time to investigate the matter.

Police said that they were trying to trace the other suspects.

“It has been days since his arrest. If they can’t find the other suspects, then how is that his fault?” asked Tamta.

Tamta said police had brought up Geelani’s alleged involvement in the Parliament attack case “just to prejudice” his client. He added that the professor was honourably acquitted by the Delhi high court.

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