A Delhi court on Wednesday gave Delhi Police time till 28 February to procure the sanctions needed to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a 2016 sedition case. The court told the police to ask the authorities concerned to expedite the sanctions.
The matter was being heard by the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sahrawat, Bar and Bench reported. The Delhi Police is supposed to get the Delhi government's nod before prosecuting in sedition cases, as mandated under the Code of Criminal Procedure, reported Hindustan Times. However, the Aam Aadmi Party government has so far not given a go ahead in this case.
On 14 January, police filed the chargesheet against Kumar and former JNU students Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven others at the Patiala House court. It said Kumar was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans during an event in the varsity on 9 February, 2016, to mark the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
The police told the court that the sanctions are pending with the Delhi government and are expected in a matter of days, reports said. "Authorities can't sit on file for an indefinite period," the court said.
The court had earlier questioned why the Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet against Kumar and others without procuring the requisite sanctions and granted them time till 6 February.
The file requesting sanction, which was submitted to the Delhi government's home department, reportedly just two hours before police filed the chargesheet in the case on 14 January, made its way to the law department, and is lying with Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain at present, The Times of India reported.
The report said the file had also become a point of friction between Delhi law minister Kailash Gahlot and Principal Secretary (Law) AK Mendiratta. Mendiratta, reportedly, forwarded the file to the home department without routing it through Gehlot first. Mendiratta had argued that the competent authority in such cases was the home minister's office, while Gahlot slapped a showcause notice on the former.
Meanwhile, the home department too is unlikely to grant the required sanctions at such a short notice.
According to Hindustan Times, a senior government official who did not wish to be named, said the file reached the home minister on 21 January, but has since remained with the minister.
"It took police three years to file the chargesheet. How can they expect the government to read and approve the file in a week? Things don’t work this way. One has to understand the case and the listed evidence. The minister neither approved the prosecution sanction nor denied it," the Delhi government official told Hindustan Times.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2019 12:43:32 IST