Supreme Court to hear Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea today

The students’ union president of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Kanhaiya Kumar, facing sedition charges, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking his release on bail. The court will hear the plea on Friday at 10.30 am.

Citing threat to his life in the light of “highly violent and surcharged atmosphere” at the Patiala House court complex, Kumar’s counsel, advocate Raju Ramachandran, sought the bench – consisting of justices J Chelameshwar and Abhay Manohar Sapre – an urgent hearing of the matter.

The apex court, on Wednesday, had directed Delhi police chief BS Bassi to take personal responsibility to ensure Kumar’s safety.
Citing Wednesday’s incident, how he was thrashed by the lawyers inside the court room, Kumar said the police failed to do their duty. Stating that the Patiala House courts’ complex is not conducive for a hearing or fair trial, the plea said that “mob at the court complex was ready to lynch the petitioner as if he is guilty.”
Claiming that he is innocent and falsely implicated, Kumar said “the situation in the Patiala House courts, is an affront to a citizen’s fundamental and human right of access to justice. It is also clearly a violation of the fundamental rights of lawyers to represent their client.”
Contending that there was repeated breakdown of law and order machinery at the trial court complex, Kumar said even his lawyers were in no position to move the sessions court for his bail in the prevailing circumstances, and they feared for their life.
“His lawyers remained under siege till 7 pm (on Wednesday) as the Delhi Police was not able to provide security to them for safe exit and kept saying that they are waiting for enough force before they could provide a safe exit to lawyers,” the petition said.
In the meantime, the court took on record the report prepared by the six-member senior advocates’ team which had inspected the trial court complex on Wednesday. Along with the report, two pen-drives and CDs containing the video recording of the situation were also submitted in a sealed cover to the apex court.
Similarly, the Delhi High Court also submitted a report to the court. The bench would take a decision on Thursday for supply of copy to the parties.
The bench also allowed the Bar Council of India (BCI) to be a party in the matter after its president Manan Kumar Mishra informed the court that the apex lawyers’ body condemned the assault on media, lawyers and accused Kumar.
He also publicly tendered an apology for violence by the lawyers inside the court complex against the mediapersons on duty.
Without giving much detail, Mishra said a three-member inquiry committee, headed by a former Judge of Delhi High Court will head the team to investigate the whole episode and action will be taken against the erring lawyers involved.
“The erring lawyers involved in the violence would lose their licence,” he said.
A large group of slogan-shouting lawyers intimidated and attacked supporters of the JNU student and journalists at Patiala House Court on February 15 and on Wednesday. Many in the same group had assaulted JNU teachers, students and the media on Monday.
The group barged into the court complex before a hearing on Kanhaiya Kumar and also kicked and punched him while he was being led to the courtroom.
Kumar was arrested last week on sedition charges, for allegedly making anti-national pronouncements at an event at JNU in support of terrorist Afzal Guru, who was hanged in 2013 for an attack on Parliament in 2001.