New Delhi: The Delhi government has given a go-ahead to the city police to prosecute former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in connection with a four-year-old sedition case, as the ruling AAP denied the persistent BJP charge of blocking the proceedings in the matter.
AAP MLA and spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the Law Department of the Delhi government has given its opinion on this matter to the Home Department after due diligence.
The sanction was granted by the Delhi government on February 20, he said.
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari welcomed the development, but said the Kejriwal government perhaps gave the approval in view of the “current political situation”.
The BJP has been alleging the AAP government was stonewalling the proceedings in the case by not granting its approval to prosecute Kanhaiya and others.
However, Chadha said in a statement on Friday, “The Delhi government, as a matter of policy and as a matter of principle, does not and has not intervened in any of such cases. Our government has not stopped prosecution in any case, whatsoever, in the last five years.”
Calling it a “purely a procedural matter”, he said judiciary and judiciary alone should decide on the merits of each case.
“It is not for governments to decide on the merits of such cases,” he added.
He further said that the Delhi government has not stopped prosecution in any case, including those pertaining to its own MLAs and party leaders.
“Our MLAs fought these in the courts, in most cases our MLAs were declared innocent while some cases are still pending in court. Even when it came to elected representatives of the ruling party, that is the Aam Aadmi Party, the government of Delhi did not intervene in the process of law,” the statement said.
“It is only fair for the permanent executive as well as political executive to not intervene in the process of law and let the Judiciary perform its independent function,” it added.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on February 19 had said he will ask the department concerned to take an “expeditious decision” on the granting sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya and others in the sedition case.
On January 14, the police had filed a charge sheet against Kanhaiya and others, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
The police had said the accused led a procession and had supported the seditious slogans allegedly raised on the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.