SC to hear plea for fair trial in JNU case today

Petition also sought directions to Centre, Delhi Police
Last Updated 16 February 2016, 20:17 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider a plea for ensuring free and fair trial to JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar following the incident of violence against journalists, students and teachers in a Delhi court.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur put a PIL filed by N D Jayaprakash, a JNU alumnus, for consideration on Wednesday after senior advocate Indira Jaising sought urgent hearing. 

She said Kumar, arrested by the Delhi Police, is to be produced in the court again on Wednesday.

“The petitioner and other students and professors of JNU who were present were physically assaulted by a group of lawyers (on Monday). Petitioner feels the manner in which physical harassment of the petitioner, women journalists and others, was allowed to take place, was in clear violation of the fundamental right to access to the justice system,” the PIL stated.

The petitioner also cited the apex court judgment in “Zahira Habibulla H Sheikh and Anr vs State Of Gujarat, (2004),” which stated it is the duty of the court to assure propitious conditions which is conducive to comparative tranquility at the trial.

“This petition merely seeks to assure safety of the accused, their relatives, friends, lawyers and journalists while discharging their legal as well as professional obligations,” the plea said, adding that “the surcharged and vicious atmosphere” in the Patiala House Court premises would come in the way of the fundamental right of the accused for a fair trial.

The petitioner urged the Supreme Court to pass necessary directions to the Centre and the Delhi Police to ensure congenial atmosphere for a fair and impartial judicial proceedings. 

He also sought action against those obstructing proceedings, besides a direction to the court to secure CCTV footage for future use. 

(Published 16 February 2016, 19:23 IST)

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