JNU Sedition Row: "Police Filed Chargesheet In Hasty & Secretive Manner," Delhi Govt
On April 5, the Delhi government made a submission to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat that the charge sheet filed by the police in the 2016 JNU Sedition case was done in a “hasty and secretive manner”. It further added that it would take over a month’s time to decide whether to grant sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others.
In its defence, the DCP of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, Pramod Kushwaha said that a request for the sanction has already been sent to Delhi government. He further added that it was an administrative action and that the charge sheet could proceed without a sanction, as reported by The Quint.
Charge sheet filed by Delhi police
On January 14, the Delhi police had named former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar, student activists Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya along with seven others in the 1,200-page chargesheet for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event that took place in JNU campus on February 9, 2016, reported The Indian Express. Days after that on January 19, a Delhi lower court pulled up the police over the filing of chargesheet in an almost three-year-old case without procuring requisite sanctions.
“You don’t have approval from the legal department. Why did you file the charge sheet without approval?” a Delhi court asked the police, as reported by The Quint. The police further told the court that they will get a sanction approval in the next 10 days.
The others who have been named in the chargesheet are Kashmiri residents – Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayees Rasool, Basharat Ali and Khalid Bashir Bhat.
The accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code(IPC) Section 124 A (sedition), 323(voluntarily causing hurt), 465(forgery), 471(using as genuine, forged document), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 149(unlawful assembly with common object), 147(rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
— Saurabh Trivedi (@saurabh3vedi) January 14, 2019
— Abhishek Angad (@abhishekangad) January 14, 2019
Chargesheet filed under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 124A 323, 465, 471,143, 149, 147, 120B, in 2016 JNU sedition case. https://t.co/GYFT5G9sni
— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2019
The timing of the chargesheet
After the chargesheet was filed, Kanhaiya Kumar, raised questions on the timing of the chargesheet. He claimed that the chargesheet had been filed just before the Lok Sabha elections, indicating that it is politically motivated.
“If the news is true that a charge sheet has been filed, I would like to thank police and Modi ji. The filing of chargesheet after three years, ahead of elections clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country,” said Kumar while talking to the ANI.
Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNU president: If the news is true that a chargesheet has been filed, I would like to thank police and Modi Ji. The filing of chargesheet after 3 years, ahead of elections clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country. pic.twitter.com/eGVy40SYDT
— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2019
A little background
In 2016, after a massive uproar over the JNU issue, the Delhi police had arrested Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya for allegedly raising “anti-national” slogans during the JNU event. Later, all three were released on bail. The case was first registered at Vasant Kunj (north) police station on February 11, 2016, under IPC Section 124-A (sedition), it was later transferred to the Delhi Police special cell. The event titled “The Country Without a Post Office”, had been organised to “stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination” and, among other things, to protest the ‘judicial killing’ of Afzal Guru, who was hanged in 2013 after being convicted in the attack on Parliament in 2001. The event was organised on the Afzal’s third death anniversary.
The event was opposed by right-wing student party ABVP.