New Delhi: The Patiala House Court in Delhi has taken cognizance against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar and 9 others in a 2016 sedition case.
The Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has summoned all 10 accused in the case and has directed them to remain present before the Court on March 15.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pankaj Sharma on Monday took the cognisance of the final report almost a year after the Delhi Police has received requisite sanctions to prosecute the accused in the case.
Kumar and others, including former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were accused of raising anti-India slogans.
The other seven accused chargesheeted in the case are Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat, some of them were then studying in JNU, Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia.
"The Court hereby takes cognizance of offence under section 124 A/323/465/471/143/147/149/120B IPC. The sanction to prosecute the aforementioned accused persons has already been filed by Home Department, GNCT vide order dated February 27, 2020," the judge said in an online hearing.
"After careful perusal of the charge-sheet and consideration of the material, all the accused persons mentioned herein above are summoned to face trial for the offence under section 124A/323/465/471/143/147/149/120B of IPC. Accused persons be summoned through investigating officer for March 15. Copy of this order be also sent to all the parties through email/Whatsapp'" the judge said.
The 1,200-page charge sheet named these accused and states that the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (RFSL) retrieved the SMS sent by Umar Khalid to Kanhaiya Kumar to arrive at Sabarmati Dhaba, JNU, as their permission (to hold the protest) had been cancelled by the University administration
The maximum punishment for sedition is life imprisonment.
The case was registered on February 11, 2016 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC against unidentified people at the Vasant Kunj (north) Police Station, following complaints from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maheish Girri and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS.
(From various agencies with edits)