New Delhi: JNU students' union President Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a sedition case in which anti- India slogans were allegedly raised in the university premises on February 9, was on Wednesday remanded to judicial custody till March 2 by a Delhi court.
Kanhaiya Kumar. Pic/PTI
Kanhaiya was produced before the court, after the expiry of his police custody remand, amidst tight security and sloganeering by lawyers inside the court premises. During the hearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, only six lawyers representing Kanhaiya were allowed to be inside the court room along with a JNU professor and five journalists.
Kanhaiya was attacked by a group of persons when he was being escorted by police from the vehicle to the court room during which even the cops with him were beaten up. A visibly shaken Kanhaiya was brought in the court room at 2.45 pm where an unidentified person tried to assault him. During the hearing, which commenced at 3 pm, advocates Vrinda Grover and Sushil Bajaj, who appeared for Kanhaiya, told the magistrate that despite the Supreme Court direction, the police has failed to maintain the law and order as their client was assaulted inside court premises and even outside the door of the court room by the person.
The lawyers claimed that despite Kanhaiya asking the police officials to apprehend the person, who was trying to assault him near the gate of the court room, the police allowed that person to go scot free. At this juncture the magistrate told the lawyers that he will call the doctors from the Patiala House Court dispensary to medically examine Kanhaiya inside the court room itself.
During the hearing, the investigating officers moved the application requesting the court to send Kanhaiya to judicial custody, saying he was not required for any custodial interrogation.
The court allowed the plea and remanded Kanhaiya to judicial custody till March 2.
During the hearing, Kanhaiya's counsel moved an application seeking direction to the jail superintendent to ensure safety and security of their client in the prison. The court ordered the DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal, who was present in the court room, to take appropriate action to ensure that Kanhaiya is being taken to the jail safely and also directed the jail authorities to ensure his safety there.
During the hearing, Kanhaiya's counsel apprised the Magistrate that the Supreme Court has appointed some senior advocates as court commissioners and they are on their way to Patiala House court. The six member team of lawyers comprised Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, A D N Rao, Ajit Sinha and Harin Raval.
At around 3.25 pm, the team of SC-appointed commissioners came in the court and asked Kanhaiya and their counsel as to what has happened with the accused in the court premises on Wednesday.
Initially, advocate Vrinda Grover briefed them about the assault and later on the commissioners asked Kanhaiya about the incident.
Narrating the incident, Kanhaiya told the commissioners that he was attacked by a group of mob while he was being escorted to the court room. The commissioners then called DCP Narwal and asked him to explain about the failure of law and order despite the Supreme Court directive.
Narwal, however, told them that when the mob attacked Kanhaiya, even police personnel were beaten up and one of the cops was attacked with blade by those persons.
After 1.30 pm a group of men dressed as lawyers were shouting slogans and also tried to manhandle 3-4 persons during which the police intervened and escorted them out safely.