Cops to seek Kanhaiya’s custody; Delhi HC defers hearing
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday deferred the bail petition of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar to February 29.
The court’s decision came after Delhi Police told the court that further custodial interrogation of Kanhaiya Kumar is required following the arrests of two other accused students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya in the sedition case.
As soon as the hearing on Kanhaiya’s bail plea commenced before Justice Pratibha Rani, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta told the court that police have a statutory right to take police custody of an accused for 15 days and that due to new developments Kanhaiya’s custodial remand was necessary.
“After yesterday’s development, two of the accused have surrendered and are in safe custody. Their remand is yet to be taken. In the backdrop of the new development and as per our statutory right of 15 days police custody of an accused, we will be seeking remand of Kanhaiya Kumar to confront him with Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya,” Mehta submitted.
The ASG said, “Our right cannot be curtailed and the present bail petition be deferred.”
However, during the hearing, when the court was informed about violence at Patiala House court complex during Kanhaiya’s remand proceedings, the bench observed, “We have to ensure that no one suffers even a scratch this time. The Registrar of the Delhi High Court and the police should ensure that no ruckus, as happened in the past, should take place while the accused are being produced.”
Then Mehta told the court to defer the bail petition in wake of the new development.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kanhaiya, contended that as per the status report filed by Delhi Police, in pursuance to the court’s direction yesterday, there was no evidence of any anti-India slogans being raised by his client.
“I would like to tell the court that in the light of the status report filed by the police, there is no evidence of anti-India slogans raised by Kanhaiya. So he should be granted bail,” Sibal said.
Mehta, however, said that as per the new circumstances and evidence which have emerged, Kanhaiya is required to be confronted with the two arrested accused.
Kanhaiya, who was arrested on February 12, was in police custody till February 17. He was then remanded to judicial custody till March 2 amidst violence on the court premises during the remand proceedings. A number of journalists, students and teachers were attacked by a group of lawyers. A subsequent sting operation by India Today showed that some of these lawyers had also managed to beat up Kumar for almost three hours even in police custody. One of those lawyers, Yashpal Singh, was arrested but granted bail.
( Source – PTI )