New Delhi: A plea, seeking immediate arrest of five JNU students accused of raising anti-national slogans, was dismissed by Delhi High Court on Tuesday after the petitioner sought to withdraw it due to technical reasons.
The plea was filed as a civil writ petition but when the matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justice Manmohan, the advocate representing the petitioner sought to convert it into a criminal public interest litigation (PIL).
At the outset, the bench said, "You withdraw this plea and file a fresh writ petition. I am not going to change the nomenclature of this petition."
Senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala and advocate V K Anand had mentioned the petition at 10.50 AM before a division bench headed by Justice B D Ahmed and it came up for hearing before Justice Manmohan at 4.30 PM.
During the brief hearing, the counsel said, "let this plea be treated as a criminal PIL."
The bench asked them to withdraw the plea and file a fresh petition. "The petitioner wishes to withdraw the writ petition and file a fresh petition....The same is dismissed as withdrawan," the bench noted in its order.
Earlier in the day, the division bench had agreed to urgently hear the plea which also sought direction to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to allow Delhi Police to enter its premises to arrest the five students - Umar Khalid, Anant Prakash Narayan, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anirban Bhattacharya.
"Direct respondent 4 (JNU) to permit respondent 3 (Delhi Police Commissioner) to enter premises of Respondent 4 and to arrest the respondents 5 to 10 (JNU students) and other accused person connected with the said case," the plea said.
The plea also sought action against JNU faculty members for allegedly trying to "obstruct the process of administration of criminal justice system and assisting for violation of law of lands."
Citing media reports, the petition said on February 21 the five students wanted in the case resurfaced in JNU around 8 PM, adding that the Vice Chancellor had refused to permit the police to enter the campus to arrest them yesterday.
"Hence, it is crystal clear from the above mentioned facts that the respondents have no respect for the law of the land and taking the country to ransom by playing dirty politics," it said.
It also sought direction to Centre and Delhi government, Delhi Police and JNU to file status report of the entire incident till date.