JNU ROW: DELHI HC GRANTS BAIL TO KANHAIYA FOR SIX MONTHS

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Avan­tika Me­hta avan­tika.me­hta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Kanhaiya Ku­mar, the pres­i­dent of the stu­dents’ union at Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity (JNU) whose ar­rest on sedi­tion charges set off a na­tion­wide political row over free speech, was granted in­terim bail for six months on Wed­nes­day.

In its or­der start­ing with a cult Bol­ly­wood song ‘Mere desh ki dharti’, the Delhi high court, how­ever, made sting­ing ob­ser­va­tions over the al­leged anti­na­tional slo­gans shouted on the cam­pus, say­ing they “can­not be claimed to be pro­tected by [the] fun­da­men­tal right to free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion”.

Jus­tice Prat­i­bha Rani ap­proved Ku­mar’s bail on a per­sonal bond of Rs10,000 and asked him to co­op­er­ate in in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­le­ga­tions that he de­liv­ered a sedi­tious speech to com­mem­o­rate the hang­ing of Afzal Guru, a con­vict in the 2001 at­tack on Par­lia­ment. Ku­mar will be re­leased on Thurs­day as au­thor­i­ties at Ti­har jail were yet to re­ceive the court or­der, the stu­dent leader’s lawyer said. The court said a univer­sity fac­ulty mem­ber would have to be­come a guar­an­tor for the PhD stu­dent who was ar­rested on Fe­bru­ary 12.

Kanhaiya Ku­mar:

Stu­dent leader

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