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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Delhi court seeks status report on JNU charge sheet

The police had filed the charge sheet on January 14 against Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016. Kumar denied the allegations.

delhi Updated: Jul 23, 2019 23:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In this file photo dated March 03, 2016, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar raises slogans after reaching at the JNU campus upon his release on bail, in New Delhi.
In this file photo dated March 03, 2016, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar raises slogans after reaching at the JNU campus upon his release on bail, in New Delhi.(PTI file photo)
         

A Delhi court has sought a status report from police on grant of sanction in the charge sheet filed in the sedition case against former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others.

Chief metropolitan magistrate Manish Khurana has directed deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Pramod Kushwah to file a response by September 18. The court on April 8 had granted the state government time till July 23 to decide on the grant of sanction.

Three months after its order, investigating officer Umesh Barthwal of Delhi Police informed the court that he does not have any information regarding the sanction.

The Delhi government has not yet made a decision yet on the sanction, said a government official on condition of anonymity. He said while they have received an opinion from its standing counselRahul Mehra, they were still taking opinions from other legal experts.

The official said they were examining questions such as “why the charge sheet was filed without prior sanction” and “what was the urgency of filing the charge sheet without seeking prosecution sanction when three years had already passed since the incident was reported.”

Delhi Police had sent a copy of the charge sheet to the Delhi government for sanction only two hours before submitting it in court.

The state government is also dwelling on if “disapproval and criticism of government constitute the offence or sedition,” said another official.

Explaining why they are taking time to either grant or deny their sanction, an officer said, “ While the original complaint talks about “sloganeering between two groups of students against each other”, there was “no mention of any anti-national sloganeering by anyone with the intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order. There are gaps in the charge sheet.” 

The official said records show while the high-level committee constituted by the vice-chancellor to enquire into the February 2016 incident, confirmed “indiscipline and unruly behaviour”, “it did not recommend any criminal proceeding”.

The police had filed the charge sheet on January 14 against Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016. Kumar denied the allegations.