New Delhi: Taking no chances after two days of violence in the Patiala House Courts complex, Delhi Police on Thursday presented former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, arrested on sedition charges, before a magistrate in a police station for remand proceedings.
The remand proceedings passed of peacefully far from the Patiala House Courts, which was the scene of violence on Monday and Wednesday when a group of lawyers had thrashed journalists and JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar in brazen defiance of Supreme Court order.
Geelani, who was arrested in connection with an event at the Press Club of India here where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last week, was remanded to judicial custody till March 3 by the magistrate.
He also moved a bail application, which will come up for hearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, not wanting to take any risk, the police approached the magistrate and requested that the remand proceedings be held in a police station away from Patiala House Courts complex.
The violence had triggered nationwide outrage and the Delhi Police had come under criticism for its alleged inaction.
A magistrate then went to Chanakyapuri Police Station, about 7 kms away from Patiala House Court, for the hearing when police said Geelani was not required for any further custodial interrogation so he be remanded to judicial custody.
Advocate Satish Tamta, who represented Geelani, moved a bail application on behalf of his client and the magistrate fixed it for hearing tomorrow.
On February 16, the court had sent Geelani to two-day police custody after the agency had said they required his custodial interrogation to identify those involved in raising anti-India slogans.
Police had earlier told the court that an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs and anti-national slogans along with slogans demanding independence for Kashmir were raised.
It had also said the hall in the club was booked by Geelani through one Ali Javed by using his credit card and another person Mudassar was also involved.
Geelani's counsel, however, had said he was only the convenor and the event was open for all.
Geelani's arrest has come amid the raging row over the arrest of JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges in connection with an event at the varsity campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9.
At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru, following which the police had lodged a case under sections 124A (sedition), 120B(criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC against Geelani and other unnamed persons.
The police had claimed to have registered the FIR taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident. Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned for two consecutive days DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member who had booked the hall for the event.
Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for "need of evidence" by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.