Delhi Law Minister issues showcase notice in JNU sedition case

New Delhi: Delhi law minister Kailash Gehlot on Thursday sent a show-cause notice to the principal law secretary for clearing without his approval the sanction to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students in a case of sedition.

The sedition case related to anti-national slogans allegedly raised during a February 2016 event on the campus of JNU has been filed against former JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar among others.

Gehlot has sought an explanation from the law secretary A K Mendiratta for sending the file directly to the prinicipal home secretary stating that law secretary deliberately to bypass him.

“It appears to have been done intentionally so that views of the minister aren’t recorded,” he said in the show-cause notice.

This development has come in the backdrop of the Delhi government seeking legal advice with regard to granting sanction for prosecution in the JNU sedition case

On Saturday, the Delhi government along with the Delhi Police leveled allegations against each other after the judicature questioned the department for filing a charge sheet in the matter against Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others without procuring the required sanction from the authorities.

On January 14, the Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet in the court stating the sanction for prosecution was pending before the government.

Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the court cannot take cognizance of the police charge sheet without sanction from the home department of the state concerned.

As per 112-page charge sheet, Kumar was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus during an event held in February 2016.

Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-national slogans during the event to mark the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.