A day after violence returned to the Patiala House courts in defiance of the Supreme Court’s call for calm, the apex court accepted that something extraordinary is going on in this country and agreed to hear the bail petition of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, facing sedition charges on the allegation that anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on the university campus. A Bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre brushed aside objections raised in the courtroom that the court should not function like a magistrate and hear bail pleas, and posted the student leader’s case for urgent hearing. He was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. Mr. Kumar has sought bail and release from custody under Article 32 of the Constitution. Article 32 is an extraordinary judicial relief sought from the highest court when a citizen seeks protection of his fundamental rights, including his life and personal liberty. It is indeed testing time for the Union Government.
S. Abhishek Ramaswamy
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)