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JNU Sedition Case: Hearing adjourned till 23rd July

News Agencies | Updated on: 8 April 2019, 16:15 IST

A Patiala House court on Monday adjourned till July 23 hearing in the JNU sedition case, thereby, granting more time to the Delhi Government to decide on the grant of sanction for the prosecution of former JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and other accused in the case.

On April 5, the Delhi Government submitted a reply before the Special CBI court stating that the Delhi Police had filed the charge sheet in the case in a "secretive" and "hasty" manner, without obtaining approval of the appropriate authority.

City government's response came after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Deepak Sehrawat, on March 30, asked the police to request the Delhi government to expedite the sanction process for the prosecution of the accused in the case.

On April 3, the city government had informed the court that it would take a month to decide whether to grant sanction to prosecute Kumar and others.

Chief Public Prosecutor Vikas Singh, representing the Delhi Government, in the next hearing on April 5 reiterated that a call on the matter would be taken within a month after he gives his opinion.

During the course of the hearing, Singh read out the reply stating that the city government has not yet determined whether the purported slogans raised were seditious or not.

Delhi Police had earlier told the court that it had sent a request to the Delhi Government seeking sanction in the case.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha had appeared before the court on March 30 after being summoned on the issue of filing of the charge sheet without the city government's sanction.

"Grant of sanction is an administrative act and is not a part of the investigation," Kushwaha said in a written reply to the CMM citing the High Court judgment in the Deependra Kumar Srivastava vs. State (CBI) case.

The police in its charge sheet filed in January this year had contended that there were videos wherein Kumar could be seen on February 9, 2016 "leading the students who were raising anti-national slogans" and that he had been identified by witnesses.

The presence of Kumar's mobile phone at the "place of occurrence" was also cited as evidence against him in the 1200-page charge sheet.

As part of other evidence, the police had also said the Forensic Science Laboratory retrieved an SMS sent by accused and former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students' Union leader Umar Khalid to Kumar, asking him to "arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission had been cancelled by the JNU administration".

The police have charged Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with raising 'anti-national slogans' during an event, which was organised to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

First published: 8 April 2019, 16:15 IST