The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar an interim bail of six months on a personal bond of Rs 10,000. The university's faculty was asked to stand as surety for the student leader's bail, according to reports. The court also asked Kumar to cooperate with the police in its investigation and present himself before the police as and when required. Reports said that he is likely to remain in Tihar Jail on Wednesday night since his papers have to be produced in the trial court before release.
A lawyer for the Delhi Police said the bail was not a setback and they will decide the further course of action after reading the court order in detail. The lawyer also said that the bail is subject to the outcome of investigation. Kumar's lawyer said whoever was behind the "conspiracy" against his client needs to be investigated.
The JNU students' union welcomed the court's order. Vice-president Shehla Rashid said in a statement, "We are delighted to hear the news and waiting for him to come back to campus and lead the movement for the release of other comrades and for the removal of fabricated charges from other comrades [sic]."
On Monday, the Delhi Police told the court that it did not have Kumar on video shouting anti-national slogans at an event held to protest against the hanging of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru, but had the statement of witnesses who said he did. Kumar was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition. Two other JNU students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are in judicial custody till March 15.
The central government is reportedly reviewing Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, which concerns sedition. Cases of sedition were also filed against former JNU professor SAR Geelani, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury and six others. The home minister on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that the Law Commission was looking into the usage of the law.