The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on the plea by private individuals for cancellation of interim bail granted to JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case with Delhi Police facing its ire for not taking an unequivocal stand and leaving it to the judge to take a decision.
However, after it was pulled up by Justice P S Teji who made hard hitting remarks like “Why are you playing with the court” and “police has made a mockerey of the system,” Delhi Police said it was not in favour of cancellation of the student leader’s bail.
Realising that the judge, who also warned the police for “playing hide-and-seek with the court,” was not impressed with the arguments, the senior standing counsel for the Delhi Government, Rahul Mehra, said, “We (Delhi police) are not seeking cancellation of Kanhaiya’s bail”.
Justice Teji took strong objection to the response of Delhi police that sequence of events has been placed before it and the court may be pleased to form appropriate opinion with regard to cancellation of the bail of the accused.
“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,” the judge said.
Going through the police report which cited speeches and interviews given by the JNUSU President after his release in March this year, the court asked, “How it was relevant to the investigation of the case?”
“Why are you playing with the court?” the judge asked the police and said it should take a specific stand whether it wants Kanhaiya’s bail to be cancelled or not.
The petitioners — Prashant Kumar Umrao and Vineet Jindal — who have sought cancellation of the student leader’s bail on the ground that his speech post release was “anti-national” and violated the bail conditions, argued that the accused “continued his anti-national activities on each and every day” as he made allegations in public that the Indian Armed Forces rape women in Kashmir.
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’.
During the arguments, advocate R P Luthra, appearing for Umrao, alleged that “the speech and slogans given/raised by Kanhaiya and his associates was nothing but challenging the sovereignty and integrity of the nation and, therefore, clear violation of the conditions of the interim bail, lowering the reputation of entire country”.
He also said that the court while granting a six-month interim bail to the student leader had clarified that JNU faculty would ensure that Kanhaiya’s thoughts and energy would be channelized in a constructive manner.
In this regard, the counsel alleged that even some of the faculty members of JNU “have indulged in the anti-national activities with more force”.
The accused person “wilfully and deliberately” violated the conditions imposed by the court and the undertaking given by him, he added.
The High Court had on March 2 while granting bail to Kanhaiya said he will not participate actively or passively in any activity which may be termed as anti-national, he said.
The police had said in its reply that Kanhaiya Kumar failed to adhere to “letter and spirit” of the bail order by making derogatory remarks against the Army in Kashmir and he “misused his liberty”.
“The spirit of the order while granting bail was an expectation from a student to come back to the mainstream and remain a student, however, as is evident the respondent did not adhere to the letter and spirit of the order passed by high court. Speeches placed before the court are self explanatory,” the police had said.