Delhi HC asks two accused JNU students to surrender

Delhi HC asks two accused JNU students to surrender

Delhi HC asks two accused JNU students to surrender

Delhi High Court will tomorrow hear the plea of two JNU students, accused in a sedition case along with Kanhaiya Kumar, seeking protection during their surrender to the police.

However, the high court refrained from giving any specific direction on granting any interim protection from their arrest, with Justice Pratibha Rani saying "let the matter be heard tomorrow."

At this point, advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the two students -- Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya -- sought protection from their arrest till tomorrow but the judge said, "I am simply re-notifying the matter for tomorrow. We are not disposing of the petition. Let it be heard tomorrow."

While refusing to grant protection from arrest, the court asked both petitioners to secretly give details of the date, place and time where they will surrender, to the court and senior police officials will ensure their safety.

DCP (South) Prem Nath, however, did not agree to the place the petitioners wished to surrender, saying he has some inputs due to which the place mentioned by the accused was not accessible to police.

At this, the judge called the DCP and the accused's counsel Trideep Pias to come to her chamber and give reasons for the objection.

After nearly 10 minutes of in-chamber discussion, the judge posted the matter for tomorrow for further consideration.

The court also objected to the accused's submission that they be given a "safe passage from JNU campus to the court and from there to jail."

"Please do not increase the scope of the power of the court," the judge said, adding that "some procedures have to be followed by the court".

When the accused's counsel were arguing for police protection for their surrender and subsequent remand, the high court said "remand proceedings have to be done by the trial court and it cannot go by anyone's whims and fancies".

"Once the accused is arrested, he or she has to be produced within 24 hours before the trial court, which will deicide the remand of the accused persons," the judge said.

While restraining the two groups of counsel, waiting to be heard on behalf of Delhi Police in the matter, the judge said the matter is between the court and the accused persons. So it will decide the issue on its own.

"The matter is between the court and the accused. Only if I ask the state, then only it will intervene in the issue," the court said, adding that "the accused will surrender at some undisclosed location and the police concerned will ensure their safety".

The matter remained inconclusive as consensus was not arrived at by both the parties and will be heard tomorrow.

The duo through their counsel said they feared for their lives as the advocates in a sting operation and through media had said they will kill the students involved in the case.

They also alleged that the police had failed to protect JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar when he was being brought to court on February 17.

"If one person's life can be put in danger, how can the police ensure the safety of these two students who want to surrender. Despite the Supreme Court's direction, the lawyers abused the apex court-appointed committee of advocates, who visited Patiala House court complex to take stock of the ground-level reality," the students' advocate submitted.

Five JNU students, Khalid, Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anant Prakash Narayan had gone missing from the campus since February 12 after Kanhaiya was arrested in the sedition case for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a controversial event at the campus.

Police teams were rushed to the campus on the night of February 21 following information that the five students were spotted at the varsity premises.

However, the cops kept waiting outside the main gate for the Vice Chancellor to give a go ahead for their entry into the campus. 

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