After the AAP led Delhi Government granted sanction for the prosecution of former JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the JNU sedition case, Congress has backed the accused and questioned the prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar and others included in the sedition case. Former Home Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has called the Delhi government is "no less ill-informed than the Central government in its understanding of sedition law." The Congress leader took to Twitter to express his disagreement with the Delhi Government's decision.
Delhi Government is no less ill-informed than the central government in its understanding of sedition law.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 29, 2020
I strongly disapprove of the sanction granted to prosecute Mr Kanhaiya Kumar and others for alleged offences under sections 124A and 120B of IPC.
In January 2019 as well, Chidambaram had dubbed the charges on Kanhaiya Kumar and others in JNU sedition case as 'absurd'. "The charge of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar and others is absurd. If it takes three years and 1200 pages to make out a charge of sedition (based on a public speech), that exposes the motive of the government, the former home minister had said in a series of tweets.
"How many in the investigating team have read and understood section 124A of the IPC and the case law on the Section. There must be a serious debate if a provision like section 124A has a place in the laws of a democratic republic," Chidambaram had said.
Rahul Gandhi, the then vice president of Congress had also expressed solidarity with the accused in the case. He had tweeted after the JNU incident, "While Anti-India sentiment is unquestionably unacceptable, the right to dissent & debate is an essential ingredient of democracy."
The Delhi police charged Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya for raising 'anti-national slogans' during an event organized in JNU campus in February 2016. This event had allegedly been organized to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, despite the university administration cancelling the permission to organize such an event. After being arrested on 12 February, Kumar was granted bail for six months on March 2, 2016.
Kumar is one of the 10 main accused who has been chargesheeted under the setions 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'. 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 given sanction until February 28 this year for it to be filed.