No Decision on Sedition Charges Against JNU Students Yet: Kejriwal

Delhi government has reportedly found the evidence produced “flimsy” and “riddled with gaps”.

Updated
India
2 min read
Kanhaiya Kumar during a speech at JNU campus.
i

The Delhi government has not yet taken any decision on whether to grant sanction for the prosecution of former JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday, 6 September.

He, however, said the Delhi government's home department will take the appropriate decision after taking all facts into consideration, and asserted that there would be no political interference in the case.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE PROMPTED KEJRIWAL’S COMMENT?

On Friday, reports suggested that the Delhi government is set to reject Delhi Police's request for sanction to prosecute former JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and others under the charge of sedition.

The next hearing on framing of charges in the case, which involves events that took place inside the University campus on 9 February 2016, will take place in a Delhi court on 18 September.

WHAT DO THE REPORTS SUGGEST?

An Indian Express report suggested that the Delhi government’s Home Department has said that the incident does not amount to sedition and found the evidence produced “flimsy” and “riddled with gaps”.

The report cites the following file noting by the Home Department explaining its position:

“The case does not amount to sedition against the state and an attack on the sovereignty of the nation by inciting violence and no case for prosecution under Section 124A of the IPC made against the 10 accused persons charge-sheeted in the instant case”.

WHY IS THE DELHI GOVT INVOLVED?

Earlier, the Delhi government’s Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra, in response to a query by the Kejriwal administration, had given the opinion that the police request to prosecute Kanhaiya and others be rejected.

Sources in the Delhi government’s Home Department said Mehra had concluded that the police had made a material error in filing the charge sheet under this section.

Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to sedition, requires prior sanction from a competent authority. Hence, the Delhi Police had filed an application to the Delhi government’s home department, for sanction to prosecute.

(With inputs from Indian Express.)

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