SRINAGAR: A day after being granted bail by a Delhi court, former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani is yet to be released from Tihar Jail.
“The session court yesterday granted bail to my father and we were informed that he will be released after legal formalities like address verification of the surety (a Kashmiri living in Lajpat Nagar) is completed. But a day has passed and he is still not being released,” Geelani’s daughter Nusrat told Kashmir Reader.
A senior Tihar Jail official told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity that Geelani will be released only after “we receive an official confirmation from the court”.
“There are some legal formalities which are to be followed,” he added.
Terming the delay in release as intentional, Nusrat said, “The Delhi address has been verified. Now we are being told that Kashmir address too has to be verified before the release and that could take them another seven days. I feel something is wrong as we have already submitted a Xerox copy of his (Geelani) passport. As such I don’t think verification is required.”
“Tomorrow (Monday) we will approach the magistrate regarding surety of the same,” she added.
On Saturday, Geelani was granted bail by a Delhi court on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the same amount.
Satish Tamta, Geelani’s counsel, sought bail for him, claiming there is nothing on record that he shouted anti-India slogans or asked others to do so. It was a meeting of intellectuals to discuss the Kashmir issue, he had said.
“There was nothing in the event which led to any violence as there was nothing that could be called incitement,” Tamta said, adding that as per the Supreme Court order, merely shouting slogans doesn’t amount to an offence under the section 124-A(Sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, Delhi Police had opposed the bail plea saying the event was “an attack on the soul of India” and it was “contempt of court.”
At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Afzal 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 the video footage of the incident.
Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned DU professor Javed, a Press Club member, who had booked the hall for the event, for two days.
Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for “need of evidence” by Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.