Supreme Court declined to hear the bail application of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was last week arrested on the charges of sedition for raising alleged ‘anti-India’ slogans at an event in his varsity campus. Directing his counsel to move High Court for bail, the apex court said “We will not interfere at this stage”.
Claiming threat to his life inside Tihar jail, Kanhaiya Kumar had sought the intervention of the apex court in his bail application filed Thursday evening.
Reasoning the grounds for moving bail application directly before the Supreme Court, the student leaders’ lawyers cited apprehensions if they will get same amount of security in the High Court. At this, Supreme Court directed the authorities to ensure safety and security at the Delhi High Court.
Soon after the hearing at Supreme Court, the 28-year-old student leaders’ lawyers moved Delhi High Court but there too the hearing couldn’t take place due to technical reasons.
Earlier, in his bail application before the top court, Kumar had submitted that there is a threat to his life and no purpose would be served by keeping him in the jail as the police has been finding it difficult to produce him even in the court.
Adding further grounds for seeking bail, he contended there was no need for his custodial interrogation as he has already been sent to judicial custody.
The top court, however, agreed that conditions are not conducive at the Patiala House court. Kumar was attacked by a group of lawyers and an individual when he was produced before the magistrate of Patiala House court on Wednesday. His attackers are yet to be apprehended by the police.
Senior advocate and former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee and senior advocate Raju Ramachandran argued for Kanhaiya Kumar.
Opposing the bail application, counsel for Delhi Police said that charges against Kanhaiya are grave and very serious and the probe into the incident is still on. He also opposed the bail on technical grounds contending that apex court is not the correct forum for seeking bail at this stage.
JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on February 12 after allegations were made that Kumar, along with some students and other persons had allegedly raised ‘anti-India’ slogans at an event in the JNU campus. The event was organised by a students’ union to discuss the contentious issue of hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
According to the FIR lodged by the Delhi Police, action was taken after police had obtained one video clip of the event, which was aired in a TV news channel. Meanwhile, students of JNU have been maintaining that Kumar never raised such objectionable slogans.
Some reports have now emerged that the purported video clip may have been doctored. The Police is still probing the matter.