Kanhaiya Kumar gets 6-month interim bail
The court gave relief to Kanhaiya by asking him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount. The high court made it clear that a JNU faculty member has to stand as surety for Kanhaiya.
Justice Pratibha Rani had on Monday reserved the order after over three hours of hearing on the bail plea of Kanhaiya, accused of raising anti-India slogans inside JNU campus during an event organised on February 9.
During the hearing, while Kanhaiya’s counsel had argued that the student leader had never raised any slogans against the nation, Delhi Police had maintained that there was evidence that he and others were shouting anti-India slogans and were holding Afzal Guru’s posters.
The police had claimed that Kanhaiya was “not cooperating” in the probe and even came out with “contradictory” statements in joint interrogation by Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Delhi Police.
The defence lawyers, including senior advocate Kapil Sibal, had countered the allegations saying there were “some outsiders with covered faces who raised anti-India slogans and Kanhaiya was seen in CCTV footage asking them for their identity cards.”
The bench had also asked tough questions to the police on slapping sedition charge on the accused and asked it to show evidence against him of his “active role” in raising anti-India slogans. Granting him bail the high court listed out certain conditions, including that he will have to cooperate in the investigation in the case and present himself before the investigators as and when required.
Kanhaiya had also distanced himself from Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the two other accused arrested in the case.
Earlier this week, the case was transferred to the Special Cell, Delhi Police’s counter-terrorism unit, with Police Commissioner BS Bassi, who retired on Monday, saying the matter needed “focussed investigation”.
On February 9, an event was organised on JNU campus to protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. Two days later, Delhi Police registered a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy in connection with the event.
Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12, and around 10 days later, Umar and Anirban resurfaced on the varsity campus before surrendering to police. Earlier this week, the police interrogated Kanhaiya, Khalid and Anirban together for a day at RK Puram police station following which police identified as many as 22 persons who allegedly participated in the JNU event.