Observing that “judicial time was wasted” over finalising the issue of granting sanction to prosecute former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case, a Delhi court has said it expects the Delhi government to make a decision within one month.
On July 23, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana, who is hearing the sedition matter, had granted Delhi Police time till September 18 to procure the sanction from Delhi government, and had directed the DCP (Special Cell) to submit a status report. On Wednesday, DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha arrived at the court along with the investigation officer, Umesh Bhartwal.
The DCP filed a status report stating that the file for sanction is under consideration of the Delhi government’s Minister of Health.
The CMM asked the DCP, “When will you apply for the sanction? Before or after filing the chargesheet? Why is it pending for 4-5 months?”
The DCP replied that the file was under consideration.
The court, in its order, said, “The time which is being taken to finalise the issue of sanction or otherwise has caused wastage of judicial time as the case has been listed and adjourned repeatedly since the filing of the chargesheet.”
“It is expected of the government of Delhi that the decision regarding the sanction or otherwise would be taken within one month so that further proceedings in the present case may be done and the Additional Public Prosecutor for the state is directed to file the report,” the court added.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the Delhi government has decided to turn down the Delhi Police request to prosecute Kanhaiya and others, after the home department took a view that the February 9, 2016, event inside the JNU campus does not amount to sedition against the state.
Delhi Police have claimed in their chargesheet that on February 9, 2016, Kumar was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on campus during the event held to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Police also charged JNU students Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others under various IPC sections, including sedition.
“It is pertinent to mention that as per the letter dated April 4, 2019, by the deputy secretary addressed to the directorate of prosecution, it was informed that the decision regarding grant of sanction or otherwise would be taken within one month from the receipt of opinion from standing counsel (criminal) and law department,” the court said on Wednesday.
“However till date, government of Delhi has not finalised the issue of grant of sanction or otherwise and repeated adjournments are given in this case by the court,” it added.