A week after Delhi Police approached the Delhi government’s Home Department for prosecution sanction in the 2016 JNU sedition case, The Indian Express has learnt that the file reached Home Minister Satyendar Jain Monday afternoon.
Last week, a Delhi court had rapped police and refused to take cognizance of the sedition case filed against former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others, citing the absence of approval from the competent authority to file the chargesheet in such a serious case. Later, the Delhi government said no file seeking prosecution sanction has been placed before any of its ministers by police.
Documents accessed by The Indian Express show that two hours before the chargesheet was filed on January 14, investigation officer Inspector Umesh Bharthwal filed an application for prosecution sanction with the Home department.
“File was first sent to the additional secretary (home) and then to principal secretary (home) on January 14. On January 17, the file was first moved to the law department secretary, and then to the additional secretary (law). On January 18, the file was again sent to the law department secretary, from where it was sent to principal secretary (home). On January 21, the file was sent to additional secretary (home), then to the principal secretary (home) and to the home minister on Monday afternoon,” said a senior official in the department.
Confirming that the file is with Jain, the official said it was not clear when the minister intends to route it to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. A government spokesperson suggested that the minister was under no obligation to immediately process it. “Going by the Supreme Court judgment in the Subramanian Swamy vs Dr Manmohan Singh case, sanction would be deemed granted if a decision is not taken within three months. In that case we have time,” the spokesperson said.
During last week’s hearing, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat had remarked, “Why have you not taken approval of the competent authority or the government? Don’t you have a legal cell to advise in such cases? Unless you (police) have sanction, this court will not take cognizance of the chargesheet.”
The Delhi Police Special Cell, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Centre, had submitted that “necessary steps for obtaining sanction have been taken and the same is likely to be filed within two weeks”.
Meanwhile, police said the investigation officer was summoned to the L-G office Tuesday morning and asked to show the chargesheet and their application for prosecution sanction.