JNU sedition case: Counsel files reply on question of prosecution sanction

Mahender Singh Manral
Former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others were charged under IPC section 124(A) (sedition) (Express archive)

The Home department Wednesday received a reply from Delhi government s standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra in the 2016 JNU sedition case, after he was asked to share his opinion on permission for prosecution sanction, sources said.

A Delhi court had granted time till July 23 to the Delhi government after its counsel had said they are looking into the matter with all seriousness, and they needed another month to finalise whether or not to accord sanction for prosecution of former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others under IPC section 124(A) (sedition).

The Delhi government s counsel had also apprised the court that they are in consultation and deliberations with Mehra to expedite the process.

A copy of the file was also shared with Mehra, who returned it on Wednesday along with his opinion, sources said. When the Delhi Police filed its chargesheet in the case, the court had rapped the force and refused to take cognizance of the sedition case filed against Kumar and others, citing absence of approval from the competent authority.

The Delhi government had said no file seeking prosecution sanction was placed before any of its ministers by police. It is learnt that two hours before filing the chargesheet at Patiala House Courts on January 14, investigation officer Inspector Umesh Bharthwal had filed an application for prosecution sanction with the Home department.

Sources said that the file has been with the home department since May 5. Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet in the court against Kumar and others on January 14 for leading a procession and allegedly supporting seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.

Kumar and the others have been charged with offences under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 143 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

Earlier, the court had also directed police to ask the authorities concerned to expedite the process.