Case Name : Kanhaiya Kumar vs State of NCT Delhi
Author : Khushboo Chopra
Kanhaiya Kumar, the then student of Jawahar Lal Nehru university student’s union president was charged in sedition case lodged in the year 2016 by the Delhi police. Sedition is a non bailable offence due to which Kanhaiya was in the jail till his bail application was not allowed.
Section 124-A deals with sedition which reads as under -:
Anybody who by words either spoken or written, by making signs, by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government in India shall be punished with imprisonment for three years which can be extended to life, to which fine may be added.
While granting the bail in a non- bailable offence, the court needs to have detailed examination of the witnesses and the documents. The law in respect to grant or refuse the bail is very well established and prevailed. The Court according the bail should practice its circumspection in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. There is a need to specify in such orders reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granting especially where the accused is charged of having committed a serious crime. Any decree lacking of such grounds would suffer from non-application of mind. It is also necessary for the court while granting the bail to analyze among other contingencies.
The following characteristics should also be considered before granting bail; they are,
(a) The essence of accusation and the gravity of the punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence;
(b) Rational apprehension of manipulation of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant;
(c) Evident satisfaction of the Court in the matter of the charge
Facts of the case
On 9th February 2016, a programme was organised at the Jawahar Lal university under the title of poetry reading – the country without post office. Permission to manage the programme from 5pm to 7;30 pm was given by the university. But when the university came to know about the posters of the programme arrangement which clearly stated ‘Against the judicial killing of Maqbool Bhatt and Afzal Guru’, the event was cancelled and it was informed to both the organizers and the staff for the revocation of the event. Even then the programme was carried out.
On 10th February a video clip of the event was being shown on Zee News in which anti-national slogans was being heard. The FIR was being filed against the petitioner under section 124-A, 120-A, 149,147 and 34 of IPC.
- Whether the petitioner should be released on bail?
- Whether the petitioner is liable for sedition?
- Whether the speech of the accused is covered under article 19(1)(a)?
The petitioner was granted interim bail for a period of six months on furnishing a bail bond of rupees ten thousand. It was mandatory for him to furnish an undertaking due to the outcome that he will not participate actively or passively in anything or activity which may be called as anti -national. Apart from that, he will make effort as the president of the student ‘s union to control the anti- national activities in the campus.
The article 19(1)(a) gives every citizen the right to speech and expression but not against the nation or its security. The programme which took place in Jawahar Lal Nehru university was totally unimaginable and unacceptable. As those students who were raising those slogans against the country and in the favour of those people who were a threat to the nation as well as the people living in the nation. The slogans and the posters made by the students will just encouraged to resort the violence, in the first impression it can be considered as sedition under section 124- A of Indian penal code.
Unfortunately, such persons enjoy the freedom to raise such slogans in the comfort for university campus without realizing that they are in this safe environment because of our forces, who are there at the battle field and facing those adverse conditions away from their families. They are the real heroes sacrificing their lives just for the safety of the people of the nation and on the other hand the immature students of JNU, who were raising slogans against the nation and in the support of the terrorist who were threat to those students as well. The slogans which they were raising were even hard to hear
1. AFZAL GURU MAQBOOL BHATT JINDABAD.
2. BHARAT KI BARBADI TAK JUNG RAHEGI JUNG RAHEGI
3. GO INDIA GO BACK
4. INDIAN ARMY MURDABAD
5. BHARAT TERE TUKKDE HONGE- INSHAALLAHA INSHAALLAHA
6. AFZAL KI HATYA NAHI SAHENGE NAHI SAHENGE
7. BANDOOK KI DUM PE LENGE AAZADI.’
The notion reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of Jawahar Lal Nehru University, who organized and participated in that program cannot be assert to be protected under the fundamental right- Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression. There is a decorum which everybody living in the nation needs to follow.These anti-national slogans do have frightening effect on the national integrity of the nation because of which strict actions were need to be taken by the university as well as by the police at that time .The reason behind anti-national views in the mind of the students who raised slogans on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was convicted for attack on our Parliament. Now it’s the call of the Faculty and the management to guide these students to the right path so that they can contribute to the growth of the nation and to achieve the object and the vision for which this prestigious university was established and not to indulge in such Anit-National activities . (hedge, 2016)
hedge, s. (2016, march). kanhaiya kumar bail order . Retrieved from scroll.in: https://scroll.in/article/804667/kanhaiya-kumar-bail-order-imprisoned-by-a-sense-of-majoritarian-rhetoric
section 124A of Indian Penal Code . (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_124A_of_the_Indian_Penal_Code