SC transfers Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea to HC

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday transferred, to the Delhi High Court, JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s petition seeking bail as it said that the direct hearing of the bail plea bypassing the high court would set a wrong precedent.

A bench of Justice J.Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, while transferring Kanhaiya’s petition, asked senior counsel Raju Ramachandran as to “what prevented you from going to the high court”.

“I can understand if you had gone to the high court. You have not even made an effort,” Justice Chelameswar told Ramachandran who led the arguments on behalf of Kanhaiya Kumar.

In response, he said: “It is impractical, unsafe, and dangerous to me, dangerous to my lawyers who can’t perform their professional duty in serenity.”

“When the facts of the situation are before the Supreme Court, and under the scrutiny of the court…,” he said, referring to the violence in the courts.

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Adding his weight to the plea for hearing of bail petition by the top court, senior counsel Soli Sorabjee said the question is whether their “apprehension is genuine or fanciful”.

“The lawyers who did (the violence) are not repentant or remorseful. They think that they did was their national duty. It is not an imaginary apprehension. Statements are being made bravely and they are being feted and garlanded,” he said.

Defending the decision to approach the apex court by invoking its jurisdiction under the constitution’s article 32, Ramachandra said there was a “simmering local situation in Delhi’s subordinate courts”.

However describing this proposition as “dangerous”, Justice Chelameswar said: “You are raising a dangerous proposition and this argument will be available to a large number of accused. There is a denationalisation of the cases, prominent personalities are involved, and atmosphere (in court) is very serious in so many cases.”

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However, in an shift from Delhi Police’s stand that it would not oppose Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said the allegation against the student leader are “very serious in nature”.

Opposing the plea for the hearing of the bail plea by the top court, he assured full security to Kanhaiya Kumar’s legal team. “The high court is capable of looking itself. Capable of performing its duties. They are not incapable.”

Earlier supplementing Ramachandran’s arguments, senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan told the court that he agrees that the accused should first approach the trial court for bail but the question is “whether there is genuine apprehensions of the lawyers and journalists – both were the victims of violence in the Patiala House Court Complex”.

Meanwhile advocate R.P. Luthra took objection to RSS being described as an “extremist” organisation by lawyer Subhash Chandra who was a part of Kanhaiya Kumar’s legal team that faced ire of a mob in the Patiala House Court Complex on February 15.

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Saying that he was pained by such description of the RSS, Luthra told the court that everything has been designed by the “anti-social” elements to give a bad name to the organisation.

At the conclusion of the hearing, as Dhavan sought the court’s nod for making public the lawyers panel report on the situation that prevailed in Patiala House Court complex on Thursday, Justice Chelameswar advised him to wait.

“Till the bail application is taken up, why don’t you let the matter cool down. In a situation like this, one word is enough to infuriate the entire atmosphere,” he said.

Earlier, the court was given a report by Delhi Police on the situation at Patiala House court complex on February 15 and 17.

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