Student trio sedition case: Transfer case from Hubli to Bengaluru city: 24 lawyers approach Karnataka HC
Srinagar, Feb 18: A day after lawyers thrashed three Kashmiri students, a group of 24 advocates filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Karnataka High Court seeking quashing the resolution of Hubli Bar Association prohibiting its members from appearing for accused, and prayed for transferring the sedition case from Hubli to Bengaluru city for free and fair trial.
“That the ruckus caused in the Court premises
and the resolution passed by the Bar Association effectively denies the accused
their right to a free trial. These turbulent conditions put the physical safety
of the accused at risk and may jettison public justice hence it is just and
necessary for transfer of the case from that place. The transfer of the
criminal case outside of Hubli to Bengaluru city will secure a free and fair
trial”, reads the petition filed by B T Venkatesh and others.
said the resolution passed by the Hubli Bar Association is illegal, without the
force of law and violates the fundamental right of the accused under Article
22(1) of the Constitution of India.
petitioners are all advocates practicing within the State of Karnataka. They
are filing this petition as PIL, as the issues involved in this petition affect
the right of legal representation of accused and the dignity of the legal
profession. The issues raised herein affect the larger public interest and the
fundamental right to all persons to legal representation,” reads the
petitioners said the Hubli Bar resolution has resulted in the creation of an
atmosphere of fear and intimidation due to which none of the advocates feel
safe and secure to appear before the court. This has had a chilling effect on
advocates coming forward to represent the accused, they said.
Kashmiri students studying Civil Engineering at KLE Institute of Technology in
Karnataka on Monday were re-arrested on sedition charges and sent to judicial
custody till March 2. They were first arrested on Saturday immediately after
the college filed a complaint about a video in which they allegedly were
chanting pro Pakistan slogans.
on Sunday, Karnataka police had released the students after they executed a
bond under Section 169 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under Section 169 of
the CrPc, an accused is let off when the investigating officer is of the view
that there was no sufficient evidence to produce him before a court for remand.
“There are quite a few lawyers ready to
fight legal battle for the accused. But the condition in the court is not good.
So we have filed a petition seeking for protection and the case is posted on
Thursday,” said advocate Maitreyi Krishnan, one of the petitioners.
brother of one of the accused students admitted they have committed a mistake
but prayed for leniency. “We appeal to the government not to take any harsh
step against them. Their career is at stake,” he said.
Kheuhami, spokesperson of J&K Students Association said they condemn their
statement in the harshest of words. “We urge Kashmiri students to focus on
their education. We appeal all students not to write provocative things on
social media which could add fuel to the fire,” he said.