Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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…and courts simmer with JNU fire

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#JNURowAs the JNU faceoff continued to become controversial, Patiala House Court sent JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiyya, who has been charged with sedition to judicial custody till March 2. Kanhaiyya who was produced in the court after five days’ police remand, was also assaulted by a group of lawyers while he was being taken to the court.

The Supreme Court also ordered that the hearing on Kanhaiyya be adjourned in the current circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also sent a team of five senior lawyers including ADN Rao, Rajeev Dhawan, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave, and Ajit Sinha to Patiala House Court following reports that stones were pelted on Kanhaiyya and a team of journalists. 

Dr Rajeev Dhawan, Siddharth Luthra, Indira Jaisingh, Prashant Bhushan, Dushyant Dave appeared before Justice Chelemeshwar. They said there was serious threat to life of accused; stones were thrown at senior advocates in the court.

The premises turned into a fortress as Kanhaiyya since he was to be produced in the court. Security was also beefed up inside and around the court as tempers ran high with lawyers shouting pro-India slogans. Some of them also displayed the Tricolour outside the court.

Delhi Police chief BS Bassi was asked to submit a written report on Monday’s violence at Patiala House Court.

Earlier in the day, listed under urgent hearing by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, the Supreme Court started hearing the PIL filed regarding the violence in Patiala House Court on Monday. Senior advocate KTS Tulsi appeared on behalf of journalists. Prashant Bhushan submitted that in the Monday scuffle between journalists and lawyers at Patiala House Court, a particular lawyer with allegiance to a particular political party did this, and there is video footage as well as evidence. “It is unfortunate that the police are not taking any action,” he said.

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Rajeev Dhawan, counsel stated that lawyers have no right to take matter in their hands. “Open court means it is open to public and press,” he further stressed.

Counsel Raju Ramachandran prayed that since the police are also present, due protection should be given to press, and access should be given to the press to meet the accused.

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During the proceedings, a lawyer, Rajeev, shouted ‘Vande Mataram’ in the court, and managed to give a slip when the bench asked to produce him at bar. He was later produced before the court, and apologised.

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Earlier, the Supreme Court allowed only five journalists to cover the proceedings at Patiala House Court but agreed to another 25 after request from the scribes.


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The case will now be heard on February 22.


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