Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s national spokesperson Raghav Chadha on Friday claimed that the Delhi government has 'not halted' the prosecution sanction of anybody in the last few years while commenting on the assent given by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government for the trial in the 2016 JNU sedition case involving former JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others. The case to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya had been pending for the government's sanction for over a year.
"Law department of Delhi government, after conducting due diligence, has given its opinion to the Delhi government's Home Department and given clearance. Delhi government has not stopped any prosecution sanction of anybody in the last five years," Arvind Kejriwal's government told ANI.
The AAP spokesperson said it is not the government but the judiciary that should be deciding on the merit of such matters. "We fundamentally believe that the government is not the agency or the authority that should be deciding on the merits of these matters. It is the court and the function of the judiciary to ultimately decide on these matters," he said. Chadha's statement came after the Delhi government on Friday gave the go-ahead to prosecute Kumar and two others involved in the JNU sedition case.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi Police wrote a letter to Delhi Home Secretary requesting him to expeditiously give clearance to prosecute Kumar in the case. In the letter, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Pramod Kushwah said, "It is requested to expedite the process to accord prosecution sanction under Section 196 CrPC as required for the offence under Chapter VI of the IPC, that is, Section 124A IPC." A Delhi court had directed the Delhi government to file a status report by April 3 on the issue of sanctions to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the sedition case.
The Delhi police charged Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly raising 'anti-national slogans' during an event organized in the JNU campus in February 2016. This event had supposedly been organised to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. After being arrested on 12 February, the CPI(M) leader was granted bail for six months on March 2, 2016.
Kanhaiya Kumar is one of the 10 main accused who has been chargesheeted under the section 124A (Sedition), 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (Forgery), 471 (Using of a forged document), 143 (Unlawful assembly), 149 (Common object), 147 (Rioting) and 120B (Criminal conspiracy) in January 2019. The police claimed that there were videos wherein Kanhaiya Kumar was seen leading a group of students, allegedly raising slogans like 'Bharat tere tukde honge, Insha Allah Insha Allah'. Kanhaiya Kumar, himself has maintained that the videos were doctored. The chargesheet was not taken cognisance of by the relevant court, as the Delhi government hadn't yet given sanction for it to be filed.