Court tells police to give sedition charge sheet to Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid
A local court in Delhi on Monday directed the police to provide former students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and eight others with copies of the charge sheet filed against them in the 2016 sedition case. They were booked for sedition and slapped with other charges for allegedly raising anti-India slogans during an event at the JNU campus.
The Delhi Police’s special cell filed a 1,200-page charge sheet before the city court on January 14, 2019, naming Kumar, Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others in the case. Kumar and Khalid have alleged that the police action against them was “politically motivated”.
During the hearing on Monday, Kumar and another accused Sushil Bajaj also sought exemption from physical appearance, the court declined the request and said it will consider it on each date and not in advance. The court has set April 7 as the next date of hearing.
As Khalid is in judicial custody in Tihar Jail for his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots that had broken out in February 2020, he was allowed to meet his parents in the courtroom for a few minutes. The other accused, who are out of prison, reached the Patiala House court amid high security at the complex this morning.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Pankaj Sharma had summoned the accused on February 15 while taking cognizance of the police charge sheet. The judge had also noted that the Delhi government had granted sanction to prosecute the accused of sedition.
The other seven accused charge-sheeted in the case include Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat. While the rest of the accused are out, Khalid is in judicial custody at Tihar jail his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots that had broken out in February 2020.
Kumar, Khalid and other accused have been charged under Sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
A case was registered on February 11, 2016, after the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maheish Girri and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the RSS, complained against them.