Delhi High Court disposes of plea on delay in sanctions in JNU sedition case

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Dec 04, 2019, 02:50 PM IST
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A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel asked the government to decide the issue as per law

Delhi High Court on Wednesday disposed of the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to Delhi government for immediate grant of sanction to proceed with the trial against former Jawaharlal Nehru Unversity Students' Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in connection with a sedition case.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel asked the government to decide the issue as per law.

"There is no need for further guidelines. There are enough guidelines. No reason to constitute a high power committee. Govt has enough number of officers. As far as JNU sloganeering case is concerned, the petitioner has requested directions to the Delhi government to grant sanction. The government may act as per rules and regulations," the court observed.

Petitioner Nand Kishore Garg, a former BJP MLA, through his counsel, advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, prayed for an immediate grant of sanction for the trial of Kanhaiya Kumar and others and argued that Delhi government is harboring political prejudices by not granting the sanction in the case since one year.
The counsel further argued that the Delhi government is guilty of obstruction of justice in such serious criminal cases which are clearly opposed to the constitutional commitment made by the government at the time of taking an oath.

The counsel further argued the oath obliges the government to act in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India.

There is already a growing perception among the common people that law is differently applied to different people in our country and finally counsel argued that a high powered committee may be instituted to look into the lapses on the part of government officials in the issuance of said sanction for the prosecution of accused, the petitioner contended.

The plea had sought directions for issuance of guidelines for expeditious prosecutions in respect of all sensitive criminal and corruption-related cases where the allegations are serious in nature and are having widespread ramifications on the community.
The public prosecutor had recently informed Patiala House court, where the case is pending, that the matter regarding grant of sanction is still pending to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the JNU sedition case.

Court had adjourned the matter after the prosecutor informed that the sanction of the charge sheet is still pending and that the Home Department has not given the sanction yet.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court had issued the summons to the investigating officer of the case and slated the matter for December 11.

In the charge sheet filed in the court in January, Delhi Police had said there was video footage wherein Kumar is "seen leading the students who were raising anti-national slogans" and that he had been identified by the witnesses in the videos.

"The location of mobile phone at the place of occurrence" was also cited as evidence against Kumar in the 1200-page charge sheet.
As part of other evidence, the police said the Forensic Science Laboratory had retrieved an SMS sent by Khalid to Kumar asking him to "arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission had been canceled by the JNU administration".