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Delhi High Court pulls up police over Kanhaiya

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The Delhi Police got a rap on its knuckles from the Delhi High Court recently for its foggy stand on cancellation of interim bail granted to JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. Its prevarication on the issue—passing the buck on the court for taking a decision—raised the hackles of the judge.

Even in its earlier hearing on the issue, the police’s stand was ambiguous, to say the least. Although it agreed with the allegations made by the petitioners, who sought cancellation of Kanhaiya’s interim bail on the ground that he had flouted bail conditions, it was not ready to place a formal demand in the court.

The petitioners had contended that Kanhaiya, charged for sedition for an event in the JNU campus on February 9, continued with his inflammatory and anti-national speeches, after his release on bail from March 2, flouting court’s orders.

The High Court itself saw no reason prima facie to cancel Kanhaiya’s bail, yet it had asked for a clear-cut response from the Delhi Police.  

The Court took a tough stand in its recent hearing. Justice PS Teji pulled up the Delhi Police for “changing” its stand on the issue by leaving it to the judge to decide. The police had also said in its latest affidavit that the JNUSU president “seemed to have violated” bail conditions. The court said that police was “playing with the court proceedings”.

Reacting to the matter, Justice Teji said that “police have made a mockery of the system” and added “I don’t want you (police) to play hide and seek with the court.” The court did not stop at that and continued: “The reply you filed is very funny… it states that the court will decide the bail cancellation issue”. The angry judge also noted that the police had not taken a clear stand on the issue “from the last three dates”.

Justice PS Teji pulled up the Delhi Police for “changing” its stand on Kanhaiya’s bail and putting the ball in the judge’s court. The police had said in its latest affidavit that the JNUSU president “seemed to have violated” bail conditions. The court said that police was “playing with the court proceedings”.

Responding to the court’s tough stand, senior standing counsel for Delhi government Rahul Mehra was forced to clarify: “We (Delhi Police) are not seeking cancellation of Kanhaiya”s bail.”

The High Court has reserved its order on the issue.

The dilly-dallying by the police was to be expected. The Delhi Police is under the direct control of the central government, which itself does not have a clear stand on what to do with Kanhaiya who has gone hammer and tongs against the Modi government. The Modi government has been blowing hot and cold over the Kanhaiya issue.

However, having said that the events as they have unfolded in the High Court so far bring to light the irresponsible attitude of the government and its agencies in taking a firm stand on issues in courts. This only eats up vital time of the courts and needlessly lengthens the judicial process and the justice delivery system, resulting in huge pendency.

—India Legal Bureau

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