Filing of charge sheet without sanctions questioned

Filing of charge sheet without sanctions questioned

JNU sedition case

A city court on Saturday pulled up the Delhi police for filing a charge sheet invoking an offence of sedition and criminal conspiracy against former JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a 2016 slogan-shouting case without procuring requisite sanctions.

Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat, however, granted police time till February 6 to procure requisite sanctions after they told the court that they will get the approvals within 10 days.

"Why did you file (the charge sheet) without approval? You don't have a legal department," the court said.

The Delhi police's special cell had on January 14 filed the charge sheet against Kumar, Syed Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others for the offence of sedition in the case related to raising of slogans in a programme organised to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru in 2016.

“In the case registered by Vasant Kunj North police station, and investigated by the Delhi police Special Cell, the charge sheet has been filed. In the said charge sheet, the names of 10 persons have been sent to the court requesting the court to initiate trial,” a note issued by the police stated.

“Names of 36 others have been put in the list of persons against whom sufficient evidence has not come on file so far to launch trial,” it said.

The police invoked the severe offences of sedition, unlawful assembly, rioting among others, against Kumar and others. The offence of sedition under Section 124 a of the IPC carried the maximum life term as sentence on conviction.

Kashmiri students named in the charge sheet are Aqueeb Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain Gattoo, Muneeb Hussain, Umair Gul, Rayees Rasool, Khalid Bashir Bhat and Bhsharat Ali. The voluminous charge sheet was carried in a tin box by the Delhi police sleuths.

According to the police, the investigation into the incident on February 9, 2016 as well as forensic examination reports showed that all the footages, showing the students raising slogans were genuine. The presence of students accused was established though mobile clip and video, it said.

“All the accused were charge-sheeted on the basis of electronic evidence and statement of students and security guard,” it said, pointing out the varsity administration has not granted any permission to the programme.

Prominent students leader then JNSU vice president Shehla Rashid and CPI leader D Raja's daughter Aprajita have been named in column 12 due to insufficient evidence.

The case was registered on February 11, 2016 by the police on a complaint by a Delhi BJP MP Maheish Girri and BJP students wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad.