Sedition case: Delhi govt. rapped over delay

Government ‘expected’ to take decision within one month, says court

A city court on Wednesday pulled up the AAP government for “delaying” the decision on a Delhi police request for sanction to prosecute former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case.

The police request has been pending with the Delhi government for the past six months, leading to adjournment of hearing on every date.

“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,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana said while posting the matter for October 25.

“It is expected of the government of NCT of Delhi that decision regarding the sanction or otherwise would be taken within one month from today [Wednesday] so that further proceedings in the present case may be done, and Assistant Public Prosecutor for the State is directed to file the report regarding the same by the next date of hearing,” the CMM said.

A deputy secretary of the government, in a letter to the Directorate of Prosecution on April 4, had said that a decision on the sanction request would be taken within one month of the receipt of opinion from the Standing Counsel (Criminal) and the Law Department, but no decision had been taken till date, the court said.

Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that “no court shall take cognisance of any offence punishable under Chapter VI of the Indian Penal Code except with the previous sanction of the Central government or of the State government”. Section 124A (sedition), under which the accused persons have also been charged, is placed under this chapter.

The Arvind Kejriwal government on Wednesday informed the court that no decision had been taken in the sedition case yet. The reply also stated that the file was pending before Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also handling the Home portfolio.

On January 14, the police had filed a chargesheet in the court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, including former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, saying they were leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.

The Delhi government had on April 6 informed the court that the police had chargesheeted the accused in a “hasty and secretive manner” without taking prior prosecution sanction from the competent authority.

A Special Cell Deputy Commissioner of Police had in March informed the court that there was no lapse in chargesheeting the accused persons without prior prosecution sanction.

(With agency inputs)

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 3:29:14 AM |

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