New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the city police to file by Wednesday a status report of its investigation in the sedition case in which JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested.
The court's direction came while hearing Kanhaiya's bail plea which was opposed by Delhi Police.
As soon as the hearing commenced before Justice Pratibha Rani at 10.30 am, the bench said, "Are you filing a status report? If you were aware, you should have done it."
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the police, told the bench that they were opposing the bail plea of Kanhaiya.
At this juncture, the bench said, "What about the status report. If you do not have the status report, I will not proceed. Ask your investigating officer to file the report."
ASG Mehta, however, told the bench that they will file the status report in a sealed cover as "this is a pre-charge sheet bail and the status report cannot be shown to the accused."
To this, the bench observed, "I do not need it in a sealed cover. You will have to file it. Issue notice. File the status report by tomorrow."
The bench, however, clarified that the status report will be limited to the extent of bail only.
As the matter commenced, senior standing counsel of Delhi government advocate Rahul Mehra opposed the appearance of ASGsMehta and Sanjay Jain and lawyer Anil Soni, saying before appearing in the matter they should show notification in this
"If they don't have the same (notification) they cannot stand on their legs before this court," Mehra told the bench.
Responding to this, ASG Jain said, "Once the ASGs are appearing in this matter, you have no business to interfere in this issue."
At this stage, the bench intervened and said, "Let's not fight over this issue. I will proceed only if status report is filed."
Advocate Mehra, however, said, "They have crossed the 'laxman rekha' and I will not allow this unless the court passes an order. I am appointed by the full court reference of this high court."
Mehra also contended that the status report in this matter has to be filed by the Delhi Police Commissioner and he has to clarify his stand as he had earlier said that the police will not oppose Kanhaiya's bail plea.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Rebecca John and advocates Vrinda Grover and Sushil Bajaj were inside the court room representing Kanhaiya in the hearing which lasted for around 10 minutes.
The hearing of the bail plea witnessed unprecedented security arrangement in the high court premises in wake of the violence at the Patiala House Court on 15 and 17 February when unruly lawyers had assaulted Kanhaiya, litigants as well as journalists uring the hearing in the case.
Kanhaiya had moved his bail plea in the high court following the direction of the Supreme Court which had refused to hear it on the ground that it will set a "dangerous precedent".
In his petition, Kanhaiya has contended that he was 'falsely implicated' in the case as he had not raised any anti-national slogan.
The JNUSU leader claimed that he was wrongly arrested on the basis of an FIR which was devoid of evidence to book him under such a serious charge.
Kanhaiya was arrested on 12 February and remanded to judicial custody on 17 February, amid violence at Patiala House courts.
In the plea, he has also claimed that no case is made out against him as there was no evidence as he had never raised any anti-national slogan during the event organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru university (JNU) on 9 February.
Kanhaiya, who is in judicial custody till 2 March, had approached the apex court directly seeking bail on the ground that his life was under threat in Tihar Jail.
First Published On : Feb 23, 2016 13:49 IST