JNU ‘sedition’ case: Ask Delhi govt to expedite decision on prosecution sanction, trial court tells police

From the left, Umar Khalid and former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar.

The Delhi Police failed to procure prosecution sanction against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case, a trial court was informed today. Police said that the sanction to prosecute was expected in a few days, currently pending with the Delhi Government.

The court directed the Investigating Officer to ask the government to expedite the decision. It also said that the authorities can not sit on files for an indefinite period. The court gave Delhi Police till February 28 to obtain the sanction to prosecute Kumar and others.

Earlier on January 19, the court had asked the police why they had filed a chargesheet without taking approval from the legal department.

“You don’t have approval from legal department, why did you file chargesheet without approval?” the court had asked. The police had been granted time till today to procure the sanction. According to official records, police had applied for sanction just two hours before filing the chargesheet on January 14.

ALSO READ: JNU ‘Sedition’ Case: What happened, the 1200 page chargesheet and Afzal Guru

Quoting authoritative sources, Indian Express reported that the nature of the case led the Home Department of India knocking on the door of the Law Department, to seek clarity on what the “guidelines” are.

The department had to seek guidelines as there is no immediate precedence for it to refer to, the last of which was on 1982.

The Delhi Police had on January 14 filed a 1200 page charge sheet at a city court against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the varsity campus during an event in February 2016.

Seven Kashmiris have also been named in the charge sheet.

The filing of the charge sheet was criticized by politicians of various ideologies.

Former IAS officer Shah Faesal while reacting to the Sedition charges slapped on Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the JNU case, said that it was a travesty of free speech.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal demanded that the sedition law, which is a colonial hangover, should be scrapped as those in power are ‘manipulating’ it.

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti questioned the timing of filing of charge sheet and said that Kashmiris are being used to score political points ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) while condemned the charge-sheet against seven Kashmiri students in the 2016 sedition case said that for electoral gains, New Delhi is playing vindictive politics.

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