Saturday, February 4, 2023

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking immediate sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya kumar

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by BJP leader Dr Nand Kishore Garg, seeking immediate sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar in the 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University alleged sedition case.

Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “We will not entertain such a general prayer.”

The petition had asked the apex court to issue general directions to ensure that prosecution takes place expeditiously in sensitive cases.

A Delhi High Court last week directed the state government to file a status report in the case 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 had 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.

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 last year, 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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