Press Club event: Court denies bail to ex-DU prof Geelani

Last Updated 19 February 2016, 11:51 IST

A Delhi court today dismissed the bail plea of former-DU lecturer SAR Gilani, booked for sedition charges in connection with a Press Club event here, as the police alleged that "hatred" was being generated against the government.

Metropolitan Magisrate Harvinder Singh heard the arguments of both the parties and rejected the bail plea of Gilani, who was arrested on February 16 and is in judicial custody till March 3.

During arguments, the police opposed the bail plea saying the offence was grave and there was apprehension that he might try to influence the investigation and tamper with the evidence if released on bail.

The counsel for the police also alleged that "there has been incitement and hatred generated against the government of India. The entire purpose of the event was to create disloyalty among the people of India."

It also claimed that Gilani was not cooperating with the probe and not telling the whereabouts of the others involved in booking the conference hall where the event was held.

Advocate Satish Tamta, appearing for Gilani, told the court that the police was relying on clips of news channels and a CCTV footage recording of the Press Club of India.

"I have no role to play in the slogans raised in the event and in fact I was the one who pacified and made the persons raising slogans to stop," Tamta said.

Police had earlier told the court that an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs.

It had also said the hall in the club was booked by Gilani through one Ali Javed by using his credit card and another person Mudassar was also involved.

At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru, following which the police had lodged a case under sections 124A (sedition), 120B(criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC against Gilani and other unnamed persons.

The police had claimed to have registered the FIR taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident.

Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member who had booked the hall for the event, for two days.

Gilani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for "need of evidence" by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.

(Published 19 February 2016, 11:50 IST)

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