New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the state government’s Law Department was looking into whether sanction can be given to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in a sedition case.
A court recently rapped the Delhi Police for filing the chargesheet without receiving the sanction from the competent authority.
In a tweet in Hindi, Kejriwal said: “I do not know whether Kanhaiya has committed sedition or not, it is being examined by the Law Department.”
The court here on January 19 listed the matter for further hearing on February 6 and asked the Delhi Police to get the requisite approval from the legal department by then.
The Delhi Police filed the chargesheet on January 14 naming Kumar and former JNU student leaders Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, and seven Kashmiri students as accused in a case involving them raising slogans during an event organised on the varsity campus in February 2016 against the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
Soon after the chargesheet was filed, the Delhi Police and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government started a blame-game.
While the state government claimed that no file related to the case had been brought to the notice of any Delhi minister, the police said they had applied for the sanction on January 14.
According to official records, which IANS has access to, the file was received by the Home Department.
According to the file monitoring system, the file was first sent to the Additional Secretary (Home) and then to Principal Secretary (Home) on January 14 — the day the chargesheet was filed.
On January 17, the file was moved to the Law Department Secretary which moved it to the Additional Secretary (Law).
The file was again sent to the Law Department Secretary the next day and was later sent to Principal Secretary (Home).
On January 21, the file was sent to Additional Secretary (Home). It was later moved to the Principal Secretary (Home) and on Monday the office of the Home Minister received it, and it has been there since then.
Meanwhile, Delhi Law Minister Kailash Gahlot on Monday issued a show-cause notice to Principal Secretary (Law) A.K. Mendiratta for clearing the sanction without his approval.
The Minister said the prosecution file would now have to be sent back to the Law Department for a review. Gahlot also wrote to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice apprising him of the matter.