New Delhi: “Your duty is complete. Will now ask the Delhi government about the delay” in the grant of sanction to proceed with the JNU sedition case, a Patiala House court told a senior Delhi Police official on Saturday when he appeared before it.
The observations of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sehrawat came after Deputy Commission of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha appeared before him and submitted a status report in connection with the case in which then JNU Student’s Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others are accused.
On Friday, the court had issued summons to the IPS officer to appear before it along with a detailed report on the case.
Kushwaha told the magistrate that the sanction of the Delhi government in connection with the case is still pending and Delhi Police has already made a request for expediting it.
The report cited a Delhi High Court verdict which says that sanction is an administrative procedure and the charge sheet can be filed without it.
“So your duty is complete. Now will ask the Delhi government about this delay, you can go,” Sehrawat told the officer.
“Grant of sanction is an administrative act and is not a part of an investigation,” the police said in a written reply to the CMM citing the high court judgment in the Deependra Kumar Srivastava vs. State (CBI) case.
“The Supreme Court has categorically held that a charge sheet can be filed even in the absence of such a sanction.
If the investigating officer is permitted to file the charge sheet without sanction, obvious intention is to treat such a charge sheet as a proper charge sheet and not incomplete charge sheet. Under Section 309 of the Code, the court is empowered to postpone or adjourn proceedings,” the high court had said.
The CMM will give the next date of hearing later today after reading the Delhi Police reply.
On March 11, Sehrawat had asked the DCP what was the hurry in filing the charge sheet without the sanction.
During the course of the hearing, Chief Public Prosecutor Vikas Singh had informed the court that grant of sanction can take two to three months.
On February 28, Delhi Police had submitted that the file for grant of sanction is still pending with the Delhi government and that it has received no reply.
The court had directed the police to request the Delhi government to expedite the sanction process for the prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the case.
In its charge sheet filed in January this year, the police had contended that there were videos wherein Kumar could be seen “leading the students who were raising anti-national slogans” and that he had been identified by witnesses in the videos.
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 said the Forensic Science Laboratory retrieved an SMS sent by accused and former JNU student leader Umar Khalid to Kumar, asking him to “arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission had been canceled by the JNU administration”.
The police have charged Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with raising ‘anti-national slogans’ on February 9, 2016, during an event, which was organized to mark the hanging of Parliament-attack convict Afzal Guru.