He won’t ‘interfere’ but Kejriwal wants early decision on Kanhaiya’s prosecution
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that he will ask for an early decision by his government in the 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University sedition case involving Left leader and former varsity students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, said a news agency.
Kejriwal’s reported assurance comes on a day when as per a news agency report, a Delhi Court asked for a status report on the issue of the pending sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others.
The court also directed the Delhi Police to send a reminder to the government and posted the matter for hearing on April 3.
“I’ve no interference in the concerned dept. I can’t change their decision but can ask them to make a decision as soon as possible,” Kejriwal was quoted saying in response to the court’s directive by ANI.
During the last hearing before the Delhi assembly elections were held, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had said that it had not taken any decision on the grant of sanction till then.
It was stated that the file was before Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who also handled the home department in its previous term. Jain has retained the home department in the present government as well.
The case pertains to raising of alleged “anti-national” slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus 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.
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.
On September 18 last year, the court had asked the Delhi government to decide within one month on the sanction to prosecute Kumar and others, saying the delay has caused wastage of judicial time as the case had been listed and adjourned repeatedly since the filing of the charge sheet.
The JNU sedition case has led to a political blame game between the BJP and the AAP, with the former accusing the latter of shielding alleged anti-nationals by not granting permission to prosecute them.
The development also coincided with the Delhi Chief Minister’s first meeting with the Union home minister Amit Shah after his party swept 62 out of the 70 assembly seats in Delhi, leaving only eight for Shah’s party.
Kejriwal said several issues related to Delhi were discussed in the meeting which he described as fruitful. He also said that both leaders agreed to work together for Delhi’s development.