[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Delhi Police is still awaiting information from the Delhi Government’s Home Department regarding sanction to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others on charges of sedition, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) was informed today.
The Home Department submitted before the CMMManish Khuranathat it would require one month’s time to decide on the issue of grant of sanction in the matter. The Court then directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police to submit a status report on the issue.
It had been reported that the Delhi Government Law Department’s Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra, had turned down the sanction request from the Delhi Police. In his opinion conveyed to the Home Department, Mehra said, “being critical of the government and its policies do not amount to sedition, and a clampdown on unpopular views will throttle democracy in the long run”.
On January 14, 2019, the Delhi Police filed a 1,200-page charge sheet before the Patiala House Court against 10 people, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya, for holding an alleged “anti-national” event in Jawaharlal Nehru University in February 2016.
Also, read: Sedition and State Sanction: Why the Metropolitan Magistrate refused to accept charge-sheet by Delhi Police against JNU scholars Kanhaiya, Umar, Anirban
The Delhi Police charged the former JNU student union leader and nine others for various offences, including the offence of sedition, which falls under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with conspiracy under Section 120B, IPC.
The then Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat refused to take cognizance of the probe because the Delhi Police, before filing the charge-sheet, had not obtained the customary sanction for prosecution from the Government of Delhi.
The CMM Manish Khurana has adjourned the matter to September 18, 2019.