Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said he will ask the concerned department to take an early decision on whether to prosecute former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 sedition case, PTI reported. The sanction has been pending with the Delhi government since last year despite multiple extensions allowed by the court.
The chief minister’s comment came hours after a court directed the Delhi government to file a status report by April 3 on the pendency of the sanctions.
“I don’t have a say in the department concerned [home department],” Kejriwal said. “I cannot change their [department’s] decision, but will ask them to decide as soon as possible.”
Earlier in the day, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak directed the Delhi Police to send a reminder to the Aam Aadmi Party government, IANS reported. “A new government has been formed, send a reminder,” he said. Following this, the Delhi Police wrote to the government, requesting it to expedite the process.
The police had filed a chargesheet in the case in January 2019, naming student activists Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya in the sedition case. The other accused include Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayees Rasool and Bashir Bhat.
The case pertains to the raising of “anti-national” slogans at a protest in 2016 against the hanging of Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind the 2013 Parliament attack. Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya were arrested in February 2016 on sedition charges for their involvement in the protest.