In a what can be termed as massive relief for young leader Kanhaiya Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government is set to reject the Delhi Police’s report seeking sanction against him on sedition charges in the two-year-old JNU case. The police had filed a chargesheet in the court against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised in the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.
However, according to a report by The Indian Express, the Delhi government is of view that no seditious behaviour can be established against Kumar. The report said that the Delhi’s Home Department feels that the entire February 9 event, which was led by Kumar, “do not amount to sedition against the State”. The Indian Express report says that Delhi government will turn down Delhi Police’s request. The JNU case is scheduled for hearing at a city court on September 18.
The accused have been charged with offences under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (punishment for forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
IPC Section 124-A (sedition) requires prior sanction from a competent authority and in case sanction is not given, the court can raise objections after looking at the contents of the chargesheet.
This year, Kanhaiya Kumar unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha Elections from Bihar’s Begusarai. Union minister and firebrand BJP leader Giriraj Singh retained the Begusarai seat for his party, trouncing his nearest rival Kanhaiya Kumar of the CPI by a staggering margin of over four lakh votes.
Singh, who had moved to Begusarai from Nawada, after initial reluctance over having to give up his sitting seat, got 6.88 lakh votes out of a total of 12.17 lakhs polled on April 29. Kanhaiya Kumar, who first shot to fame after being booked in a sedition case while he was the president of the JNU students union, polled 2.68 lakh votes.
RJDs Tanveer Hassan, who was the runner-up in 2014, stood third with just 1.97 lakh votes. The seat was won by BJP's Bhola Singh five years ago who died last year. Notably, 20,408 voters in the constituency opted for NOTA.
(With agency inputs)