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Can't Sit on File Indefinitely: Court Slams Delhi Govt for Delay in Sanctions to Prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar

The court's remarks came after Delhi Police said sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 sedition case was still awaited.


Updated:February 6, 2019, 7:15 PM IST
Can't Sit on File Indefinitely: Court Slams Delhi Govt for Delay in Sanctions to Prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar
File photo of former JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

New Delhi: A city court on Wednesday lashed out at the Delhi government over delay in granting requisite sanctions to prosecute former JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a 2016 sedition case, saying they can't sit on the file indefinitely.

The court's remarks came after Delhi Police said that sanction to prosecute the accused was still awaited. "Authorities can't sit on file for an indefinite period," the court said, directing the Delhi Police to ask the authorities concerned to expedite the process.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat granted three weeks to procure the sanctions needed to prosecute Kumar and other accused, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, in the case.

The court posted the matter for February 28 after Delhi Police sought more time to get the sanctions.

In January, the police had filed the chargesheet against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016.

But the court rejected the chargesheet on grounds that they did not seek the Delhi legal department's opinion before filing it as is procedure. "Why did you file (the chargesheet) without approval? You don't have a legal department," the court had said.

The police had also charged Khalid and Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the event to mark the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

Earlier, they had claimed before the court here that Kumar had raised anti-India slogans in 2016 "to incite hatred and disaffection towards the government".

Police cited statements of various witnesses in its charge sheet to state that Kumar was walking along with the protesters where a number of unidentified persons were raising slogans during the event.

It said a video shot by a news channel and clips shot by students present at the spot show that Khalid, Bhattacharya and Ashutosh were raising slogans but the ones raised by Ashutosh were not anti-national, unlike those by Khalid and Bhattacharya.

Khalid raised slogans as shown in the videos and mobile clips, police said, citing a video which shows him saying, "The programme is against occupation of Kashmir by the Indian State. I am making it very apparent that I am not from Kashmir but I believe that what is happening in Kashmir is Indian occupation of Kashmir..."

A case was registered on February 11, 2016 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC against unidentified persons at Vasant Kunj (North) police station, following complaints from BJP lawmaker Maheish Girri and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

The event had taken place despite the university administration cancelling the permission, following a complaint from ABVP, which had termed it "anti-national".

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