HC asks Delhi Police for status report on Kanhaiya’s bail plea

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Delhi Police and asked them file status report on a bail plea of Jawaharlal Nehru UNiversity Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on charges of sedition.

Justice Pratibha Rani issued notice to Delhi Police and asked for status report on the investigation by Wednesday, the next date of hearing.

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Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi Police, said since it was a pre-chargesheet bail application, police should be allowed to file the status report in a sealed cover.

However, the court rejected the request and said: “No sealed cover is required. It’s just a bail application and the petitioners have the right to know (why police has opposed the bail).”

The high court also directed Delhi Police to give a copy of the status report to Kanhaiya’s counsel Rebecca John.

During the brief hearing, Aam Aadmi Party’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra sought to represent Delhi Police in Kanhaiya’s bail case. Additional Solicitor Generals Tushar Mehta and Sanjay Jain opposed the contentions of Mehra.

Mehta told the court that he and advocate Shailendra Babbar were appointed as special public prosecutor in the case by Lt. Governor.

“They (ASGs representing Delhi Police) have crossed all ‘Lakshman rekha’. As a standing counsel, I am not allowed to argue and they are here on LG’s unofficial order,” Mehra said.

Justice Rani, however, said: “Let us not distract from the main issue. This is not a place to settle personal scores.”

Mehra said Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi had made a statement saying Kanhaiya’s bail plea will not be opposed. “Status report to be filed by commissioner’s officer.”

After the court’s hearing, ASG Sanjay Jain told reporters that police will oppose Kanhaiya’s bail plea during Wednesday’s hearing.

Kanhaiya moved the high court after the Supreme Court refused to entertain the bail plea, noting that bypassing the high court would set a wrong precedent.

The security at the high court was beefed up inside and outside the court room for the hearing. The entry to the courtroom of Justice Rani was restricted to lawyers involved in the case and six media persons. The hearing started at 10.30 a.m. and lasted for around eight minutes.

Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case on February 12 after an event held on the university campus against execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. He allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the rally.