The Supreme Court on Friday transferred the bail plea of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar to the Delhi High Court. It noted that assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the case will send a wrong impression to lower courts that they are “incapable” of handling it.
Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested for sedition a week ago and is in Tihar Jail till March 2, had told the Supreme Court that he did not feel safe enough to go to the lower courts.
While doing so, the SC asked the high court to hear the plea expeditiously.
“You are leading a dangerous proposition. If this court will entertain it, it will become a precedent which will be available to all the accused in the country. Wherever there will be sensitive cases involving political persons or prominent persons or others…You know the atmosphere in the court. So in every case if it is said that Supreme Court is only the court, it would be a dangerous precedent,” a bench comprising justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre said.
“The Delhi High Court is a constitutional court also,” Justice Chelameswar said.
The Bench gave Mr. Kumar, represented by senior advocates Soli Sorabjee, Raju Ramachandran and advocate Vrinda Grover, liberty to move the High Court on the same day itself.
The Bench asked the High Court to take up Mr. Kumar’s bail plea expeditiously and ordered all documents and records pertaining to the bail be transferred to the High Court forthwith.
The Supreme Court entrusted the Centre and the Delhi Police to provide security to those involved in the case when they come to the High Court.
“The police are duty-bound and will take care,” Justice Chelameswar said.
“Lawyers of both courts are protesting against Kanhaiya,” Mr Ramachandran said. The Supreme Court, however, asked them to go to the High Court, also ordering proper security.
Calling it an “extraordinary case in prevailing circumstances,” the top court said, “People should not think only Supreme Court is capable of providing security and not the other courts.”
The bench also said that the counsel for all the parties would be given preference while entering into the court room at the High Court and the Registrar General would be responsible for limiting number of people to be allowed to enter inside.
The SC directed its secretary general to forthwith transfer Kanhaiya`s writ petition and related papers to the high court.