JNU sedition case: Delhi govt likely to refuse prosecution sanction
The Delhi government is likely to turn down the Delhi Police’s demand for prosecution sanction in connection with the JNU sedition case, senior government officials said Thursday.
The file noting (seen by HT) showed that the Delhi government has also rapped the Delhi Police for filing an “incomplete” charge sheet, without obtaining the mandatory sanction from the government for sedition cases.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled on September 18. The case relates to anti-national slogans that were allegedly chanted in February 2016 on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in Delhi. Former students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and research scholars Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested in connection with the case, and are among those named in the charge sheet.
“The case does not amount to sedition against the state and an attack on the sovereignty of the nation by inciting violence and no case for prosecution under Section 124A of the IPC made against the 10 accused persons chargesheeted in the instant case,” read a file noting, drafted by the home department, after a meeting earlier this week.
However, the government opined that the accused persons could be charged under other sections of the Indian Penal Code mentioned in the charge sheet but not for sedition.
Elaborating its reasons, the Delhi government observed, “the accused persons had no intention to incite violence or public disorder, the alleged slogans cannot be clearly attributed to the accused persons and the alleged slogans were divorced with an intention to attack the sovereignty of the state.”
The government also said the sloganeering started between two different student political groups “mocking” and “disregarding” each other, but not the state and its sovereignty.
“…There always remains a doubt that of them (slogans) being raised by one political group to bring the other political group in bad light without being aimed at attacking the sovereignty of the state (sic),” read the noting.
The government stated that granting prosecution sanction in this case would “jeopardise the life of the chargesheeted persons, who are all students.”
In the last two years, some of the chargsheeted persons who were either students or scholars at the time of the incident have already completed their courses.
Also, the government accused Delhi Police of not sending the draft charge sheet to the government for prior sanction, a senior official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
In the last hearing of the case on July 23, the court had sought a status report from the police on grant of sanction by September 18.
The Delhi government’s standing counsel Rahul Mehra said, “The case does not meet the basic ingredients in the concerned IPC section (124A). The charge sheet was filed in haste.” Mehra, however, refrained from commenting on the government’s decision on the matter.
Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking his comment on the issue.
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