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