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DU professor Geelani granted bail, to be under watch

  • The ex-Delhi University Professor SAR Geelani was granted bail on Saturday in a sedition case registered against him. The sedition case was registered after he organized an event in the Press Club in Delhi on February 10 this year, in which “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.

    This was Geelani's second bail application, with the first one being rejected on the 19th of February. This time round Geelani got respite at the cost of 50,000 rupees and a personal bond. The bail plea was accepted by the Delhi High Court on the grounds of insufficient evidence to prove the involvement of the academic in the slogan raising. This comes only days after the release of the JNU students Anirban Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid on interim bail. But interestingly, the judge said Geelani “shall not leave the jurisdiction of Delhi without permission of the court” and asked him to surrender his passport.

    The Delhi Police had earlier expressed concerns over the bail plea of Geelani, stating that the event was “an attack on the soul of India”. Geelani’s counsel, however, said that there was no evidence that Geelani had raised anti-national slogans, and that criticising the Supreme Court [for its decision in the Parliament attack case] was not contempt of court.

    Although the bail plea has been granted, Geelani is not free to be released as of yet. The Delhi Police has requested the HC to give them 4 day's time to investigate and check the validity of the addresses provided by Geelani in Lajpat Nagar and Kashmir. This means that Geelani and his family will have to wait for 4 more days to return home. “After Kanhaiya Kumar [JNUSU president] got bail on March 3, we were also hopeful as my father was also facing the similar charges. It took two more weeks for his bail to be granted. But finally there is some relief in the family,” his 23-year-old daughter, Nusrat, a law student, said on Saturday evening. The Delhi Police were clear in their intent. “Delhi is his temporary residence. We will have to send a policeman to his hometown. The Kashmiri identity, as you know, raises a needle of suspicion. His address verification is very much needed. We will inform the local police and then send an officer from Delhi. It will take at least 3-4 days,” said the police official who wished to remain anonymous.

    OUR TAKE

    With the number of sedition cases getting registered on the rise, Prof.Geelani's case is one among many. The professor has not got full relief as of yet but his family still hopes for the best. The law will take its course and the final outcome of this case may still alter. Anger against people termed as “anti-nationals” is at an all time high and thus the case may not yet have crossed the final hurdle.


     


     


     


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