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Delhi HC asks Khalid, Anirban to surrender

Delhi HC asks Khalid, Anirban to surrender
In day of fast-paced developments on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row, the Delhi high court on Tuesday refused to grant interim protection from arrest till Wednesday to two accused students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, with Justice Pratibha Rani saying “let the matter be heard tomorrow.” The two students, accused in a sedition case, had sought protection during surrender.

Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the two students, sought protection from their arrest till Wednesday but the judge said, “I am simply re-notifying the matter for tomorrow. We are not disposing of the petition. Let it be heard tomorrow.” While refusing to grant protection from arrest, the court asked both the petitioners to secretly give details of the date, place and time where they will surrender, to the court and senior police officials will ensure their safety.

DCP (South) Prem Nath, however, did not agree to the place the petitioners wished to surrender, saying he has some inputs due to which the place mentioned by the accused was not accessible to police.

At this, the judge called the DCP and the accused’s counsel Trideep Pias to come to her chamber and give reasons for the objection. After nearly 10 minutes of in-chamber discussion, the judge posted the matter for Wednesday for further consideration. The court will on Wednesday continue hearing on their plea seeking security before they surrender in court.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Court agreed to hear a plea filed by the two students, seeking security before they surrender to police.

 A Bench of justices BD Ahmed and RK Gauba agreed to grant urgent hearing to the plea of Khalid and Bhattacharya, which said that there is a threat to their lives and sought police protection while surrendering. “Let the matter be listed today,” the Bench said.

 Five JNU students – Khalid, Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anant Prakash Narayan – had gone missing from the campus since February 12 after JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a controversial event in JNU.

The High Court will on Wednesday hear the bail plea of Kanhaiya Kumar, in which he has contended that he was ‘falsely implicated’ in the case as he had not raised any anti-national slogan. The plea is listed for hearing before Justice Pratibha Rani at 10.30 am. In his bail plea, Kanhaiya has claimed that he was wrongly arrested on the basis of an FIR, which was devoid of evidence to book him under such a serious charge. In the plea, he has also claimed that no case is made out against him as there was no evidence as he had never raised any anti-national slogans during the event organised in JNU on February 9.

He moved the High Court after the Supreme Court refused to hear his bail plea on the ground that it will set a “dangerous precedent” and asked him to approach the high court. Kanhaiya, who is in judicial custody till March 2, had approached the Apex Court directly seeking bail on the ground that his life was under threat in the Tihar Jail.

Meanwhile, in a complete U-turn, police opposed in the High Court the bail plea of Kanhaiya Kumar, in which the court has asked for a status report by Wednesday.

When the matter came up for hearing as directed by the Supreme Court last week, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the police, told Justice Rani that they were opposing the bail plea of Kanhaiya.

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi, who had last week said that police would not object if Kanhaiya applied for bail, on Tuesday justified the change in their stand saying that the circumstances have changed.

Attack on scribes: Lawyer Yashpal arrested
Yashpal Singh, one of the lawyers who was caught on camera attacking teachers, students and journalists at the court hearing in the JNU case in Delhi last week, has been arrested by the police. 

Singh’s arrest comes after a sting operation aired by India Today news channel yesterday, in which three lawyers including Singh were heard bragging that they thrashed JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar for three hours while he was in police custody. Vikram Singh Chauhan, one of three lawyers who led the violence in court and was also seen assaulting a journalist has not yet joined the probe, police said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider a plea seeking contempt action against three lawyers allegedly caught on camera bragging and boasting that they had beaten up JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar in police lock-up for three hours at the Patiala House Court complex here.
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