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A Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to file a status report in 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University sedition case till April 3.

The court also granted police more time to seek sanction from the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government to prosecute accused former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban.

Judge Purshottam Pathak at Patiala House Court asked the Special Cell of Delhi Police to send a fresh reminder to the Deputy Secretary of Delhi Government’s Home Department, seeking its permission on whether to go ahead with the prosecution or not.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Delhi Court asking Police to send another reminder to Delhi Government about sanction for the prosecution said, “I’ve no interference in the concerned dept. I can’t change their decision, but can ask them to make a decision as soon as possible.”

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), investigating agencies are required to get prior approval or sanction of the state government while filing charge sheets in sedition cases. The court had earlier pulled up Delhi Police for filing the charge sheet “without obtaining requisite sanction.”

On September 18, the court had asked the Delhi government to decide within one month on the sanction to prosecute Kumar and others, saying the delay has caused wastage of judicial time as the case had been listed and adjourned repeatedly since the filing of the charge sheet.

The case pertains to an event organized in Jawaharlal Nehru University on Feb 9, 2016 condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru who plotted 2001 Parliament attack. In January 2019, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police had filed a charge-sheet running into which named 10 JNU students for allegedly raising “seditious” slogans.

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