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July 23, 2019

JNU sedition allegation: Police granted time till Sept 18 to obtain requisite sanction


New Delhi, Jul 23: The Delhi Police was granted time on Tuesday till September 18 to obtain the requisite sanction in the JNU sedition case to prosecute former Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others.

The Delhi Police informed Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Manish Khurana that the sanction is still pending before the Home Department.

"Sanction in the present matter could not be taken. Investigating Officer (IO) tells the court that he does not have any information from the home department regarding sanction in the present matter. He has sought an adjournment. Let the report regarding the sanction be called from concerned DCP on September 18," the court's order stated.

On April 5, the Delhi Government had submitted a reply before the Special CBI court stating that the Delhi Police had filed the charge sheet in the case in a "secretive" and "hasty" manner, without obtaining approval of the appropriate authority.

The response came after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Deepak Sehrawat, on March 30, asked the police to request the Delhi government to expedite the sanction process for the prosecution of the accused in the case.

On April 3, the city government had informed the court that it would take a month to decide whether to grant sanction to prosecute Kumar and others.

Chief Public Prosecutor Vikas Singh, representing the Delhi Government, in the next hearing on April 5 reiterated that a call on the matter would be taken within a month after he gives his opinion.

During the course of the hearing, Singh read out the reply stating that the city government has not yet determined whether the purported slogans raised were seditious or not.

Delhi Police had earlier told the court that it had sent a request to the Delhi Government seeking sanction in the case.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha had appeared before the court on March 30 after being summoned on the issue of filing of the charge sheet without the city government's sanction.

"Grant of sanction is an administrative act and is not a part of the investigation," Kushwaha said in a written reply to the CMM citing the High Court judgment in the Deependra Kumar Srivastava vs. State (CBI) case.

The police in its charge sheet filed in January this year had contended that there were videos wherein Kumar could be seen on February 9, 2016 "leading the students who were raising anti-national slogans" and that he had been identified by witnesses.

The presence of Kumar's mobile phone at the "place of occurrence" was also cited as evidence against him in the 1200-page charge sheet.

As part of other evidence, the police had also said the Forensic Science Laboratory retrieved an SMS sent by accused and former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students' Union leader Umar Khalid to Kumar, asking him to "arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission had been cancelled by the JNU administration".

The police have charged Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with raising 'anti-national slogans' during an event, which was organised to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

JNU sedition allegation: Police granted time till Sept 18 to obtain requisite sanction


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