JNU Student Union president, Kanhaiya Kumar's bail plea will be heard on Wednesday by the Delhi High Court after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition on 19 February after which he was remanded to Tihar Jail. One of the key focus of the plea is likely to be around the allegedly doctored video clip used by the Delhi police to arrest him on the charges of sedition.
Zee News' Vishwa Deepak had resigned last week citing that the channel had intentionally misinterpreted the video clip to brand some students as anti-national.
Kanhaiya's lawyer had directly moved the the Supreme Court for bail, but the apex court asked his advocate to move the high court for bail, noting that bypassing the high court would set a wrong precedent.
The student leader had directly moved his bail plea before the Supreme Court invoking its jurisdiction under article 32, under which a citizen can move the apex court for enforcing his fundamental rights.
Besides bail, Kanhaiya Kumar had sought direction for his safety and security from the apex court.
Invoking Article 21 guaranteeing right to life and personal liberty and pointing to the atmosphere of violence that prevailed in Patiala House Court complex on 15 and 17 February, he, in his petition in apex court, had said that the manner in which his physical harassment was allowed to take place was a clear pointer to the violation of his right to access justice delivery system.
Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case on February 12 after an event held on the university campus against hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Security will be beefed up in the high court to avoid any untoward incident, in view of the violence seen in the Patiala House courts when Kanhaiya Kumar was produced for hearing.
Apart from Kanhaiya, two other JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, facing the charge of sedition, surrendered before the police late on Tuesday, hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant them protection from arrest.
The duo, who returned to the JNU campus last Sunday after having gone missing since 12 February, drove from the administrative bloc to the main gate of the university, got into a Delhi Police vehicle and were taken to an undisclosed destination.
Police sources said Khalid and Bhattacharya surrendered at around midnight.
The two have been placed under police custody at South Campus police station. They will be produced before a magistrate on Wenesday morning, the sources said.
Besides Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya, the other students are Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash.
Delhi Police had issued a look-out notice on 20 February against Khalid, Bhattacharya, Naga, Ashutosh and Prakash.
Earlier, Khalid and Bhattacharya left the JNU campus at around 11.50 pm on Tuesday night for the surrender.
The university students formed a human chain to prevent the media from following Khalid and Bhattacharya when they were leaving the campus on Tuesday evening.
The National Capital Region is also being shaken up by 10,000 students who will be protesting at Jantar Mantar and India Gate on 23-24 February in solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and dalit scholar Rohith Vemula who committed suicide in University of Hyderabad. The JNU row and Rohith Vemula's suicide have both sparked great debate in the country about the freedom of speech, the right to dissent, police brutality and overreach.
According to The Indian Express, the slogan of the protests is "humein chahiye azaadi, hum chheen ke lenge" (We want freedom and we will snatch it). The protest is being organised by Joint Action Committe (JAC) for Social Justice and Hyderabad Central University (HCU). The report also points out that students from TISS, TIFR, Mumbai University will join the protests.
According to Mid-Day, a number of students from across Mumbai universities and colleges have started a petition seeking the immediate release of Kanhaiya Kumar.
Others accused of sedition and branded as "absconding" by the Delhi police, Umar Khalid and others will also be moving the High Court seeking security to surrender.
With inputs from agencies