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Smrithi Suresh & Anuj Agrawal
The Delhi High Court’s Justice Pratibha Rani has granted an interim bail of six months to Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNUSU President. After reserving orders on Monday, the court kept the entire media contingent on tenterhooks for nearly three hours today.
Kumar will have to furnish a personal bond of ten thousand rupees, as well as an undertaking that he would not participate, “actively or passively in any activity which may be termed as anti-national.”
While granting bail, the 23-page order makes a number of interesting observations, some of which are listed below.
1. On the limits of Freedom of Speech (Para 39 & 41)
“While dealing with the bail application of the petitioner, it has to be kept in mind by all concerned that they are enjoying this freedom [of speech] only because our borders are guarded by our armed and paramilitary forces.”
“Suffice it to note that such persons enjoy the freedom to raise such slogans in the comfort of University Campus but without realising that they are in this safe environment because our forces are there at the battle field situated at the highest altitude of the world where even the oxygen is so scarce that those who are shouting anti-national slogans holding posters of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt close to their chest honoring their martyrdom, may not be even able to withstand those conditions for an hour even.”
2. On the “kind of infection” that needs to be controlled (Paras 47-49)
The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU who organized and participated in that programme cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. I consider this as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.
Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.
49. During the period spent by the petitioner in judicial custody, he might have introspected about the events that had taken place. To enable him to remain in the main stream, at present I am inclined to provide conservative method of treatment.
3. On JNU and the season of spring (Para 2)
Spring season is a time when nature becomes green and flower blooms in all colours. This spring why the colour of peace is eluding the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) situated in the heart of Delhi needs to be answered by its students, faculty members and those managing the affairs of this national university.
Read the entire order below.