The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to direct the Delhi government to grant approval for prosecution of former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case, observing that the issue of grant of sanction against individuals has to be decided in accordance with the law. “The respondent (Delhi government) will decide grant of sanction or otherwise in accordance with the law applicable to the facts of that case,” a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
On October 25, the Delhi government’s prosecution department had informed a Delhi court hearing the JNU sedition case that the decision on whether or not to accord sanction for prosecution is still pending for approval before the ministry concerned.
The trial court had fixed the matter for further hearing on December 11, and had sought the presence of the investigating officer in the case.
The High Court bench noted that the petitioner, former BJP MLA Nand Kishor Garg, seemed to have “personal interest” in the FIR registered against Kumar and others in the 2016 sedition case.
Garg, through his counsel Shashank Deo Sudhi, submitted that the Delhi government has “evidently failed to grant the sanction letter”, which is not in accordance with the statutory obligations.
Apart from seeking a direction to the Delhi government for the grant of sanction, the plea had also sought issuance of guidelines for expeditious prosecution on all sensitive criminal and corruption related cases.
The HC turned down the demand and observed that there were enough meticulous laws in place with respect to grant of sanction by the state government.
The bench also refused to give direction for constitution of a high-powered committee to look into the alleged delay in grant of sanction. Saying that the “government has got adequate number of officers, there is no need of a super committee”, the bench disposed of the petition.
According to official records, police had applied to the Delhi government for sanction just two hours before filing the chargesheet on January 14.
The court has been deferring taking cognizance of the chargesheet against the accused in the absence of a prosecution sanction.