New Delhi: A judge, who was hearing the petitions for cancellation of interim bail of JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar, on Wednesday referred it to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court for allocating it before another bench after objection was raised by one of the petitioners to the warning that they may have to bear the cost on dismissal of their pleas.
At the outset, Justice Pratibha Rani, who had granted conditional interim bail to Kanhaiya on 3 March, inquired about the presence of petitioners in the courtroom and told them to be ready for the consequence of rejection of their pleas with cost. "Be ready. If I will dismiss the pleas, I might dismiss it with cost. That is why I asked if the petitioners are here or not," the judge said.
However, advocate R P Luthra, who appeared for petitioner Prashant Kumar Umrao, objected to it, saying the court cannot "intimidate" them like this as "this is our right and it cannot be taken away". "If you (judge) want to conduct the proceedings like this then you can transfer it to some other court. You cannot say that you will dismiss the plea with cost before hearing it. You can transfer the matter to the Chief Justice," Luthra said.
Another petitioner, Vineet Jindal also made the identical plea but his counsel said he has no such objection. The judge said Luthra's submission would be taken on record before transferring the petitions to the Chief Justice. "Let the petitions be transferred before the Chief Justice tomorrow for listing it before another bench," Justice Pratibha Rani said.
Besides seeking cancellation of interim bail, Umrao has moved another plea for initiation of perjury proceedings against Kanhaiya alleging that he had "deliberately and wilfully filed a false affidavit" before the court while securing the relief.
These three petitions will now be listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini on Thursday. The petitioners sought cancellation of Kanhaiya's bail on the ground that his speech subsequent to his release was "anti-national" and thus he violated the bail conditions.
On Tuesday, the high court had refused to entertain another plea seeking action against Kanhaiya for allegedly making anti-national remarks in his speech, saying there is law and order in place for handling instances where anti-national slogans are being raised and the petitioner need not worry about the image of the nation.
Kanhaiya, who was granted six months interim bail on 2 March, is facing sedition charge in connection with an event at JNU on 9 February where anti-national slogans were allegely raised and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru hailed as a 'martyr'.