Court Says No Point Keeping Geelani in Jail, Grants Him Bail
NEW DELHI: Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, who was arrested on sedition charges in connection with a Press Club event, was granted bail on Saturday by a Delhi court, which observed that no purpose would be served by keeping him in jail.
Additional Sessions Judge Deepak Garg granted the relief to Geelani on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with a surety of the like amount. “In the circumstances of this case, in my view, no purpose would be served by keeping the applicant (Geelani) in judicial custody anymore pending further investigation. There is no allegation of the State that there is any apprehension of the accused fleeing from justice,” the court said.
The judge also said that Geelani “shall not leave the jurisdiction of Delhi without permission of the court” while asking him to surrender his passport before the court.
Geelani in his plea, argued by Satish Tamta, said, “There is nothing on record that Geelani shouted anti-India slogans or asked others to do so. It was a meeting of intellectuals to discuss the Kashmir issue... There was nothing in the event which led to any violence as there was nothing that could be called incitement. The prosecution has not pointed out that I was the one raising slogans or asked others to do so. And even if I did so, that doesn’t come under 124-A as it did not create any violence or incitement for the violence.” Tamta said credibility of videos run by a news channel, on the basis of which the FIR registered, had come under doubt.
Delhi Police opposed the bail plea saying that the event was “an attack on the soul of India” and it was “contempt of court.” Police said, an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs.
Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack, but was acquitted by Delhi High Court in October 2003. The Supreme Court upheld the HC’s decision in August 2005.
‘struggle will continue’
JNU student Umar Khalid’s 11-year-old sister Sarah said their struggle will “continue till everyone gets justice”, calling for acquittal of SAR Geelani and DU professor G N Saibaba. Umar, released on Friday presented a paper at a seminar on Saturday.