Freedom of speech guaranteed to the citizens of this country under the Constitution of India has enough room for every citizen to follow his own ideology or political affiliation within the framework of our Constitution.
While dealing with the bail application of the petitioner, it has to be kept in mind by all concerned that they are enjoying this freedom only because our borders are guarded by our armed and paramilitary forces. Our forces are protecting our frontiers in the most difficult terrain in the world i.e. Siachen Glacier or Rann of Kutch.
Suffice it to note that such persons enjoy the freedom to raise such slogans in the comfort of university campus but without realising that they are in this safe environment because our forces are there at the battlefield situated at the highest altitude of the world, where even the oxygen is so scarce that those who are shouting anti-national slogans holding posters of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt close to their chest honouring their martyrdom, may not be even able to withstand those conditions for an hour.
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The kind of slogans raised may have demoralising effect on the family of those martyrs who returned home in coffins draped in the Tricolour.
The petitioner belongs to an intellectual class, pursuing PhD from the International School of Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, which is considered as hub of intellectuals. He may have any political affiliation or ideology. He has every right to pursue that but it can be only within the framework of our Constitution.
The faculty of JNU also has to play its role in guiding them to the right path so that they can contribute to the growth of the nation and achieve the object and vision for which Jawaharlal Nehru University was established.
The reason behind anti-national views in the mind of students who raised slogans on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was convicted for attack on our Parliament, which led to this situation have not only to be found by them but remedial steps are also required to be taken in this regard by those managing the affairs of JNU so that there is no recurrence of such an incident.
The investigation in this case is at a nascent stage. The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU, who organised and participated in that programme, cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. I consider this as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.
Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following a second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.
During the period spent by the petitioner in judicial custody, he might have introspected about the events that had taken place. To enable him to remain in the mainstream, at present I am inclined to provide conservative method of treatment.
In his (Kanhaiya’s) speech dated February 11, 2016, the petitioner has claimed that his mother works as Anganwadi worker and earns Rs 3,000 per month, on which the entire family survives. If this aspect is considered, then the amount to be required to be filled in the personal bond and surety bond cannot be so high as to put him in a position that he cannot avail the interim bail.
The time is ripe that while giving some concession to the petitioner on the monetary aspect for purpose of furnishing the bond, he can be required to furnish an undertaking to the effect that he will not participate actively or passively in any activity which may be termed as anti-national. Apart from that, as president of JNU Students Union, he will make all efforts within his power to control anti-national activities in the campus.
His surety should also be either a member of the faculty or a person related to the petitioner in a manner that he can exercise control on the petitioner not only with respect to appearance before the court but also to ensure that his thoughts and energy are channelised in a constructive manner.