The Delhi government on Friday gave its nod to the city police to prosecute former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others in connection with a 2016 sedition case.
On January 14, the police had filed a charge sheet against Kumar and others, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
The police had said they were leading a procession and had supported the seditious slogans allegedly raised on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016.
The Delhi Police Special Cell on February 19 wrote to the Delhi Home Secretary requesting to “expedite” the process of grant of sanction in the JNU sedition case involving Kanhaiya Kumar.
In a letter written by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Pramod Singh Kushwaha to the Deputy Secretary, Home, he said, “It is therefore requested to expedite the process to accord prosecution sanction under Section 196 CrPC as required for offence under Chapter VI of the IPC i.e. Section 124A IPC.”
A Delhi court had asked the state government to file a status report relating to the issue of pendency of sanction in the case to prosecute the student leader.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purshottam Pathak also directed Delhi Police to send a reminder to the government.
“A new government has been formed, send a reminder,” the judge said.
The court has now kept the matter for hearing on April 3.
On the previous date of hearing, the Arvind Kejriwal government had informed the court that no decision had been taken yet. The reply also states that the file is pending before the Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also handling the Home portfolio.
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had declined to entertain a plea that had sought directions to the Delhi government to sanction the prosecution of Kumar.
On February 9, 2016, “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus during a programme called to protest against the death sentence handed out to Afzal Guru, a convict in the 2002 Parliament attack.
The 1,200-page chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch names 10 JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students, as the main accused in the case.
The chargesheet says the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (RFSL) retrieved the SMS sent by Umar Khalid to Kanhaiya Kumar to arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission (to hold the protest) had been cancelled by the University administration.
The final pages of the chargesheet also confirm the presence of Kashmiri students during the protest and that they were in contact with Umar Khalid.