No NIA probe in JNU sedition charge, Delhi HC refuses to interfere

Kejriwal to meet Rajnath Singh; journalists too seek audience with him to discuss attack by lawyers.

New Delhi: The sedition case against JNU students’ union chief Kanhaiyan Kumar will not be probed by the National Investigation agency, the Delhi High Court ruled today amid escalating support for the university that has united civilians but divided the political class.

The Delhi High Court dismissed the petition saying the plea was "premature" as the police is already investigating the matter. "It is an inicident of February 9. Delhi Police is probing the matter. Let the police investigate first. We cannot step in unless necessary," a bench of Justice Manmohan said, adding, "The present writ petition is premature and is dismissed."

Read: All you need to know about the JNU controversy

During the hearing, the counsel, appearing for petitioner Ranjana Agnihotri told the court that this is a serious and sensitive matter as anti-India slogans were raised inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.

Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, the counsel for the petitioner, argued that sovereignty and integrity of the country were threatened by a few students and people associated with the university and "hostile foreign forces" were trying to destabilise the country.

The bench, however, observed, "We are not politicians. We just cannot jump into things. The investigation is on. The police, law and order are taken care of by the government and let them do the needful first."

Read: JNU row: Attack on journalists, teachers 'act of fascism', says Congress

During the proceedings, the counsel for the Centre submitted that it was a fact that anti-national slogans were raised in the university campus but whether there was a "youthful error or any conspiracy" behind it is being probed by Delhi Police.

The counsel for the Delhi government said, "Who instigated these people is being probed by the police and we should wait till the probe is on."

During the arguments, the petitioner's counsel contended that the bench should direct the government to appoint a judicial commission to look into the matter. "No. The State will look into it," the bench said.

"In the present case, the incident has taken place only on February 9, so this court at this stage cannot say that the police is not investigating the matter properly. This court is confident that Delhi Police will investigate all the aspects," the bench said.

In another development, Opposition parties sought clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the on-going protests at JNU. The Prime Minister has maintained silence over the issue that erupted on Friday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the JNU issue. Journalists too have sought an appointment with Singh to protest the attack on them by a group of lawyers at the Patiala House Court yesterday before Kanhaiyan Kumar was to be produced. BJP MLA Om Prakash Sharma was also captured on video beating up Communist Party of India leader Ameeque Jamei.

Read: Lawyers attack JNU students, scribes in Patiala House court complex

Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been arrested and charged with sedition for allegedly raising anti-India slogans, will remain in custody till Wednesday, a judge has said.

Kumar was arrested on Friday for raising ‘anti-India’ slogans at an event organised by students on the JNU campus to commemorate the death of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was executed in 2013.

He was sent to three-day police custody after the Delhi Police told the court that they wanted to probe his alleged links to 'terrorist groups'.

Kumar was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and sedition under sections 124A and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

Hitting out at the Opposition, especially the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said the JNU turmoil shouldn't be seen in terms of political preference.

"I don't think this is a political matter as some political parties are forcing it to be. A matter of security of the country and sovereignty has to unite each one of us. It can't be seen only in terms of our preferences and our political preferences," said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told the media.

"We must allow the police and the investigating agencies to do their job. Anyone who finds something that is objectionable or crosses the parameters of reasonable restrictions of freedom of speech and expression has to be investigated... especially if it is contravention of any law of the land," he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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