JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested under the sedition charge, moved the Supreme Court Thursday for bail, saying “fear for the safety of life and limb” at the Delhi sessions court had compelled him to approach the apex court directly for release.
The bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abhay M Sapre agreed to hear the bail plea Friday, saying “extraordinary situations prevail”.
“There is an extraordinary situation prevailing over there, so we are going to hear it,” the bench said.
In his bail petition which will be argued by former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, Kanhaiya said there is repeated breakdown of law and order at the Patiala House Courts despite directives of the apex court, making it impossible for him and his lawyers to approach the sessions court for bail.
“Present circumstances are exceptional and calls for exceptional remedy. The situation prevailing in Patiala House Courts is an affront to citizen’s fundamental and human right to access of justice,” the petition stated.
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Kanhaiya said he is not a hardened criminal but just a student and since reports suggest that the Delhi Police had found no evidence against him, he should be released on bail.
The atmosphere at Patiala House Courts complex is not conducive, not for hearing, much less for trial,” Kanhaiya said, seeking bail on conditions to the satisfaction of the registrar of the apex court.
Senior advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for advocate Subhash Chandran K R, sought hearing on a PIL seeking direction for a probe by a special investigation team into the JNU incident of February 9 — relating to slogan shouting — and subsequent arrest of Kanhaiya and the violence at the Patiala House Courts.
Chandran claimed to be one of the “many innocent victims of a shocking assault and use of criminal force carried out on February 15 by criminal elements, including advocates, within the premises of the Patiala House Courts complex”. The court put his petition for hearing Friday.
Meanwhile, a panel of lawyers, comprising senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhawan, Dushyant Dave, Harin Raval and advocate A D N Rao, submitted a report in a sealed cover including a pen drive on mobile phone recordings of the violence at the sessions court.
Senior advocate Ajit Kumar Sinha, who was also sent by the apex court to take stock of the situation, refused to put his signature on the report. “I was asked to sign the report which I refused. I said until I have gone through it, how can I sign,” he said.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra submitted a report by the Delhi High Court’s registrar general on the violence in the sessions court including an attack by lawyers on Kanhaiya, his supporters and journalists.