Delhi Govt okays prosecution of ex-JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar for sedition in 2016 case
Delhi government has granted sanction to prosecute Left leader and former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar in the JNU sedition case on Friday.
The permission comes nine days after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal promised his government will take an early decision on grant of sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya in the 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University sedition case after a Delhi court had asked Delhi Police to file a status report on April 3.
Watch | Delhi govt gives nod for Kanhaiya Kumar’s prosecution in 2016 sedition case
The file was pending with AAP minister Satyendar Jain, who also handles the home department which is responsible for taking such decisions.
A senior official in the chief minister’s office said the decision was taken solely by the prosecution wing of the home department which analysed the matter.
“The home department had even taken recommendations of legal experts on this case and finally, after analysing all aspects, the prosecution wing of the home department gave the go-ahead,” said the official.
The official said there was no interference in the legal team’s decision making.
“The CM office or any other department doesn’t intervene in the legal team’s decision making,” the official added on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi government had kept the file for the prosecution of the former JNUSU president and other former students of the university for more than a year.
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, investigating agencies have to take the approval or sanction of the state government while filing charge sheets in sedition cases.
Kanhaiya was accused of raising alleged “anti-national” slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on February 9, 2016, during a protest action against the death sentence handed out to Afzal Guru, a convict in the 2002 Parliament attack case.
A Delhi Police charge sheet filed on January 14, 2019, names 10 JNU students as the main accused, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students.
The sanction has been granted nearly eleven months after the court on April 6, 2019, asked the AAP government to take a decision with a reasonable timeframe--three months--while noting that the delay was leading to a violation of the due process of law.
Delhi government then told court that it needed more time to assess if the speeches made by Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others were seditious in nature and said it would decide within a month after receiving the opinion of its standing counsel. It also accused the Delhi Police of filing the charge sheet in the 2016 incident in a “secret and hasty manner”.
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, probe agencies have to take the approval of the state government while filing a charge sheet in sedition cases.
On September 18 last year, the court asked the Delhi government to take a decision on sanction within one month and said the delay had caused wastage of judicial time.