A court in Delhi on Wednesday asked the city police to procure sanctions by February 28 to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leaders accused of sedition, PTI reported. The court had, on January 19, criticised the police for filing a chargesheet in the 2016 case without the approval of the Delhi government.

The case is related to accusations against former JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and others in connection with anti-national slogans allegedly chanted at the campus during a demonstration. The Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet in a local court on January 14.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said last month that the law department was examining the Delhi Police’s file seeking sanction for prosecution.

On Wednesday, the police told the court that the sanctions are still pending with the state government. The court said authorities cannot sit on files for an indefinite period, and asked the police to get them to expedite the sanctions.

Pending with law department

After filing the chargesheet in a local court, the police had submitted the file related to the case to Delhi’s home department, which forwarded it to the law department for its opinion.

Principal Law Secretary AK Mendiratta sent it back to the home department on January 18. Three days later, Law Minister Kailash Gahlot issued a notice to Mendiratta, asking him to explain his actions as no decisions can be made or any opinion communicated to another department without the minister’s approval. He said the file will now have to be returned to the law department.