New Delhi: Hearing on JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar in Delhi High Court on Wednesday saw the AAP government taking a firm stand that there was no violation of any bail condition by the student leader, even as Delhi Police sought to buy time saying the matter was being probed.
The police said it cannot comment on the pleas seeking cancellation of interim bail granted to Kanhaiya without verifying facts and they were investigating whether any bail condition was violated.
The investigators' response came after the Delhi government categorically stated that no grounds have been shown by petitioners which warrant cancellation of Kanhaiya's interim bail at this stage.
The court was hearing arguments, which would continue on 28 April, on separate pleas seeking cancellation of interim bail to Kanhaiya on the ground that his speech after his release from Tihar Jail here earlier this month was "anti-national" and he had violated the bail conditions. They have also sought initiation of perjury proceedings against him.
However, special public prosecutor Shailendra Babbar, appearing for the Delhi Police, said "as regards the allegations that he (Kanhaiya) has violated the bail conditions, this fact is disputed. Unless verified by us, we cannot comment on this. The investigation is going on."
"We have not preferred any cancellation application. If the court will issue notice, we will come back to the court. I have to verify and unless verified I cannot comment," he told Justice Suresh Kait.
Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, however, told the bench the state government has left it to the court. "If the court says that yes the bail conditions have been violated, we have nothing to say."
However, "no single ground has been shown which satisfy the condition that he (Kanhaiya) has violated the bail conditions at this stage. No violation is shown. They (petitioners) must place the grounds on which they are seeking cancellation of bail," Mehra said.
"There is no single act by which it could be said that there is violation of the order," he said, adding, "Courts are conscious of the fact that if their orders have been violated, then bail must be cancelled."
During the hearing, the counsel representing one of the petitioner Vineet Jindal claimed that after Kanhaiya was released, he had organised a press conference in JNU campus.
"After his release what he did, kindly see. He says in Kashmir women are raped by security personnel. I do not know why the police is not taking action against him," he said.
The court, however, said, "What is the hurry? If the police is not taking any action then you can go to court. You said you have already given a complaint to the police. If he (Kanhaiya) had violated any condition, the other side (police) will look into it."
To this, the lawyer said, "State is not doing anything for reasons best known to them. May be they are under
The bench then asked him to argue on the point of locus. Advocate R P Luthra, who appeared for other petitioner Prashant Kumar Umrao, claimed that Kanhaiya had violated bail conditions by giving statements "challenging the integrity and sovereignty of the country".
"The conditions so imposed on him (Kanhaiya) have been violated by him and he has breached the faith shown on him by the court. The concession granted to him should be taken away," he said.
"This court ought to have taken suo motu cognizance of the matter. I know judges are too busy to see the information which are available in public domain. I am presuming that whatever was there in public domain, the judges have not seen that," he argued.
When the bench asked Luthra about his locus in the matter, he said he was intervenor before Supreme Court in the matter.
"We are not supposed to see what is there on TV," the bench said, adding, "State and Central government are looking into the matter."
Luthra responded, "They (State and Central government) are looking only for votes. They have failed."
The court, however, asked, "You satisfy the court on locus. You have not satisfied the court on locus yet."
When the court asked Luthra to show the order of the apex court in which he was made an intervenor in the matter, the counsel said he was making a statement on the bar regarding this and he would soon place the order before the court.
When Mehra said that Luthra should be first asked toplace before the court the apex court order, the latter said,
"In this case, the standing counsel comes in court and says he has no objection if bail is granted to the accused."
Mehra shot back, "Who is he to say what a standing counsel should do."
At this juncture, the bench asked the counsel, "You confine your arguments to your plea."
On the issue of locus, Mehra said there is no locus of the petitioners as neither the state nor the police have
moved the court for cancellation of bail.
Luthra, however, argued that the evidence are in domain of the state and a status report can be called from them.
He said he would hand over a CD containing the footage run by TV channels on Kanhaiya's speech and the state can verify these facts.
When the court again asked him to satisfy it on the point of locus, the counsel referred to a judgement of the apex court and said he can place other verdicts on this point.
The court thereafter posted the matter for April 28.
Luthra insisted he would argue the matter on Wednesday itself but the court said it would hear the arguments on the next date of hearing. "Try to maintain the decorum. Come on the next date," the court said.
Besides seeking cancellation of interim bail, petitioner 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.
Kanhaiya, who was granted six months interim bail on March 2, is facing sedition charge in connection with an event at JNU on February 9 where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru hailed as a 'martyr'.