New Delhi: Patiala House Court today sent JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar to 14-day judicial custody. It means that Kanhaiya will stay in jail till March 2.
Earlier, the Supreme Court was today forced to step in after ruckus broke out once again at the Patiala House court complex when JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was being produced in the court in a case of sedition against him.
In an apparent act of blatant disregard to the Supreme Court's order earlier in the day, a large group of men dressed in lawyers' robes today barged into the Patiala House court complex and allegedly beat up JNUSU president Kanhaiya while he was being brought in to be produced before the magistrate.
In view of this incident, Patiala House Court directed concerned DCP to ensure safety of the accused Kanhaiya Kumar till his transportation to jail. Jail superintendent has also been directed to take necessary steps to prevent any harm to the accused Kanhaiya Kumar.
In the court room, Kanhaiya Kumar also made a statement that he was assaulted by the mob inside the court premises.
The top court took stock of the situation immediately and formed a team of six senior lawyers who were sent to the Patiala House court complex to take stock of the security arrangements and also submit a report to the apex court regarding the incident. In light of the untoward incident, the second time in a row in this case, the SC also asked the current hearing in the case to be adjourned for now.
Justice J Chelameswar of the Supreme Court personally spoke to Delhi Police Commissioner regarding security in Patiala House Court. The top cop has also been summoned for the hearing in the case. The apex court asked Delhi Police counsel Ajit Sinha to communicate to the Magistrate to adjourn the hearing and evacuate those present in the court room.
The team of senior lawyers, comprising Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, A D N Rao, Ajit Sinha and Harin Raval, have been sent to the court premises and submit the report within a day. The court is expected to give directions based on the report filed before it.
In a repeat of the incidents that occurred two days ago at the same venue, a journalist and other supporters of Kanhaiya were allegedly beaten up by these men who appeared to be lawyers. Scuffle broke out when a group of lawyers tried to attack Kumar while was being brought to court. As many as 400 policemen have been deployed in the court premises and an additional team of 50 policemen accompanied Kanhaiya Kumar in his security.
A journalist present at the spot was also allegedly manhandled by the agitated group, which could be seen raising slogans "Vande Mataram" and waving the Indian flag in the court premises. According to eyewitnesses, clashes erupted in the court complex despite heavy police deployment and the cops' presence did not deter the lawyers from shouting slogans and fighting with journalists and students.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court had restricted the number of people inside the courtroom, allowing only five reporters and two supporters of the arrested students to attend the hearing. The apex court's intervention came based on a petition alleging that the police remained a "mute spectator to the brazen display of brute force" on February 15.
On Monday, groups of lawyers had beaten up journalists and JNU students and teachers ahead of the hearing of the sedition case registered against Kumar. Yesterday, top editors of national media and hundreds of journalists had hit the streets demanding action against those involved in beating up members of their fraternity in the court complex in police presence. The journalists had also sought Supreme Court's intervention in protecting freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has said that the matter is serious and the Home Ministry has sought a report into the incident.
Here is the Video: