How Kejriwal Government helped Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNUSU President in obtaining the bail

Former President of the Jawahar Lal Nehru University Students Union, Kanhaiya Kumar, who was facing the sedition charges, was granted bail by the Delhi High Court vide its Order Dated 2/3/2016. Many of the readers here may raise a question as to why I am coming up with this issue now, when almost a year has already passed when this order was passed and Kanhaiya Kumar was released on bail.

I will answer this question in this article itself before concluding the same. I remember when this Order was pronounced by the High Court, the so called mainstream media was very critical of the findings and observations recorded in the order, despite the fact that order was pronounced in favour of Kanhaiya Kumar. The manner, in which, our mainstream media criticized the order, it was clear that the so called senior journalists of the mainstream media, have not only read the entire order, they also understood the contents of the order.

Before we proceed further, let us see some of the stinging comments and observations made by the High Court in its lengthy order consisting of 23 pages and 57 paragraphs:

• “To examine the instant case for the limited purpose of consideration of bail, here I would like to refer to some of the slogans and refer some of the photographs:
[Para 30 of the Order]

• “Today I find myself standing on a crossroad. The FIR in question has been registered only on 11th February, 2016. Investigation is at the initial stage. The petitioner is the President of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union. His presence at the spot on 9th February, 2016 has been claimed on the basis of raw video footing of that day i.e. 9th February, 2016. The petitioner at present is in judicial custody. The question is, in view of the nature of serious allegations against him, the anti-national attitude which can be gathered from the material relied upon by the State should be a ground to keep him in Jail.”(Para 38 of the Order)

• “As President of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union, the petitioner was expected to be responsible and accountable for any anti-national event organised in the campus. 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.” (Para 39 of the Order)

• “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 battle field 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 honoring their martyrdom, may not be even able to withstand those conditions for an hour even.” (Para 41 of the Order)

• “The kind of slogans raised may have demoralizing effect on the family of those martyrs who returned home in coffin draped in tricolor.” (Para 42 of the Order)

• “The petitioner claims his right regarding freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in Part-III under Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution of India. He has also to be reminded that under Part-IV under Article 51A of Constitution of India fundamental duties of every citizen have been specified alongwith the fact that rights and duties are two sides of the same coin.” (Para 43 of the Order)

• “The petitioner belongs to an intellectual class pursuing Ph.d. from 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. India is a living example of unity in diversity. Freedom of expression enjoyed by every citizen can be subjected to reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) of our Constitution. The feelings or the protest reflected in the slogans needs introspection by the student community whose photographs are available on record holding posters carrying photographs of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt.” (Para 44 of the Order)

• “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 to achieve the object and vision for which Jawaharlal Nehru University was established.” (Para 45 of the Order)

• “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 the JNU so that there is no recurrence of such incident.” (Para 46 of the Order)

• “The investigation in this case is at nascent stage. The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU who organized 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.” (Para 47 of the Order)

• “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 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.” (Para 48 of the Order)

• “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 main stream, at present I am inclined to provide conservative method of treatment.” (Para 49 of the Order)

• “Once the decision of releasing the petitioner on interim bail is taken, now the question comes as to what should be the amount for monetary security. In his speech dated 11th February, 2016 the petitioner has claimed that his mother works as Anganbadi worker and earns ₹3000/- 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.”(Para 51 of the Order)

• “The time is ripe that while giving some concession to the petitioner on 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 channelized in a constructive manner.”(Para 52 of the Order)

Para-4 of the High Court has summarized the matter as under : “On 9th February, 2016 a programme was proposed to be organised under the title ‘Poetry Reading- The Country Without A Post Office’ at Sabarmati Dhaba, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Since the title of the programme did not suggest anything objectionable, permission was granted. When the posters of the said programme revealed the topic of the programme to be organized that evening, the authorities at JNU acted swiftly by cancelling the permission and communicating the same to the organizers as well the security staff. What followed thereafter has been recorded in FIR No.110/2016 under Section 124-A/34 IPC at PS Vasant Kunj North. The status report shows that now the case is under investigation for the offence punishable under Sections 124-A/120-B/34/147/149 IPC”

It is also pertinent to note that:

1. Kanhaiya Kumar has applied for the Bail and he was represented by Mr.Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate, Ms.Rebecca M.John, Senior Advocate with Mr.Sushil Bajaj, Mr.Bankim Kulshreshtha, Ms.Vrinda Grover, Mr.Vishal Gosain, Mr.Victor Dhissa, Mr.Bajinder, Ms.Tarannum Cheema and Mr.Harsh Bora, Advocates.

In Para 51 of the Order, the Court has observed:
“In his speech dated 11th February, 2016 the petitioner has claimed that his mother works as Anganbadi worker and earns ₹3000/- 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”.

• In Para 8 of the Order, petitioner Kanhaiya Kumar has pleaded –“He is no more required for investigation of this case.”

• In Para 17 of the Order, Mr, Kapil Sibal said-“He is no more required for investigation. In the circumstances, he may be ordered to be released on Bail.”

• In Para 24 of the Order, While opposing the Bail to Kanhaiya Kumar, State Counsel ASG Tushar Mehta said-“Prayer for Bail has been strongly opposed.”

• Utter shock and surprise comes in Para 25 of the Order, when Standing Counsel of the Delhi Government Mr.Rahul Mehra says, “That in the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner may be released on Bail.”

Any person with little common sense would agree that when the Standing Counsel of the Delhi Government, who should have strongly opposed the Bail application of Kanhaiya Kumar, had himself agreed very liberally that Kanhaiya Kumar may be released on Bail, then the High Court had no other option but to release him on the bail.

It is a mystery whether Standing Counsel Mr. Rahul Mehra was representing the Delhi Government or he was representing Kanhaiya Kumar?

I was expecting that the Order would be scrutinized by our Main Stream Media and some self-styled “Senior Journalist” would write an article or some “Editor” will write an “Editorial”, pointing out these shocking facts. Articles and Editorials were written in Main Stream Media, but they all were pointing fingers on the stinging remarks and observations made in the Order.

I kept waiting the whole year to see that some one will also write as to why Delhi Government Standing Counsel Mr. Rahul Mehra, who was supposed to “strongly oppose” the Bail to Kanhaiya Kumar, was virtually requested to release him on the Bail.

As no one in the Main Stream Media written any Article or Editorial on the same, I am left with no other option to bring it to the notice of the people of the Country that how a Government elected by the people of Delhi, at the cost of the public funds, pleading in the Delhi High Court -“That in the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner may be released on Bail.”

There are certain questions, which needs to be answered not only by the so called Main Stream Media and its “Senior Journalists”, but also by the Government of Delhi and at the Government at the Centre:

1. The Family Income of Kanhaiya Kumar was Rs.3000 per month. How he was able to hire 10 leading advocates of the country, including Kapil Sibal and was traveling by Air and using I-phone with this meager family income?

2. Whether Delhi Government was representing Kanhaiya Kumar and fighting his case in the High Court at the cost of the public funds?

3. When State Counsel, ASG Tushar Mehta was “strongly opposing” the Bail petition of Kanhaiya Kumar, why Delhi Government Counsel was taking the opposing the view of the State Counsel and praying for the Grant of Bail, as if he is Counsel of Kanhaiya Kumar, not of the Delhi Government?

4. Why Central Government has become a mute spectator in this “Gross impropriety” of the Delhi Government?

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