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Sedition case: AAP government gives nod to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar

CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar. File

CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar. File   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

The opposition BJP alleged that the move was in line with the prevailing “political situation” in the Capital amid violent clashes.

The Delhi government has given its go-ahead to the Delhi Police to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in connection with a sedition case registered against them in February, 2016.

On January 14, the police had filed a chargesheet against Mr. Kumar and the others allegedly involved in a procession where they had allegedly supported seditious slogans raised on the varsity's campus during an event on February 9, 2016.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that the move was in line with the prevailing “political situation” in the Capital amid violent clashes.

While the official order in this regard, issued by the Delhi government's Deputy Secretary (Home) was dated February 27 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson and Rajender Nagar MLA Raghav Chadha, in a statement, said the prosecution was sanctioned on February 20.

“Sedition specifically requires the sanction of the government before the prosecution can go ahead. The @AamAadmiParty cannot spin this as a regular policy of ‘non-interference’ with the criminal process. The government's decision to grant or withhold sanction ‘is’ the process,” Gautam Bhatia, lawyer and columnist, tweeted.

According to the order, the Delhi government, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure “...grants prosecution sanction against the accused namely (1) Kanhaiya Kumar (2) Syed Umar Khalid (3) Anirban Bhattacharya (4) Aquib Hussain (5) Mujeeb Hussain Gattoo (6) Muneeb Hussain Gattoo (7) Umair Gul (8) Rayees Rasool (9) Basharat Ali (10) Khalid Bashir Bhat who have prima facie committed an offence punishable under section 124A & 120B IPC 1860...”

“The Law Department of Delhi government has, after conducting due diligence, given its opinion on this matter to the Home department. It is pertinent to mention that the Government of Delhi, as a matter of policy and as a matter of principle, does not and has not intervened in any of such cases. Our government has not stopped prosecution in any case, whatsoever, in the last 5 years,” Mr. Chadha stated.

“This is purely a procedural matter. We believe that judiciary and judiciary alone should decide on the merits of each case. It is not for governments to decide on the merits of such cases,” the statement said further adding that the sanction was granted by Delhi Government on February 20, 2020.

Mr. Kumar, in a tweet, said he welcomed the Delhi government's decision in this regard. “Thanks to the Delhi government for giving permission in the sedition case. I request the Delhi Police and government lawyers to ensure that the case is taken more seriously, that there is a speedy trial in a fast track court, and that justice is ensured in an actual court of law instead of one on TV...”

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, in a statement on the matter, said, “Probably keeping the current political situation in mind, CM, Arvind Kejriwal has finally given sanction to prosecute former JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar. We welcome the decision...We would now like Mr. Kejriwal to help police arrest AAP councillor Tahir Hussain...”

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:52:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kanhaiya-kumar-sedition-case-aap-government-gives-go-ahead-to-delhi-police/article30946003.ece

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