Published: 22nd January 2019
Where is the sedition charge sheet? Eight days on JNU's 'Azaadi' accused students still in the dark
The Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against the JNU students in a sedition case lodged in 2016 but are yet to share it with the students or their legal counsel
Over a week after the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven other JNU students, in a sedition case lodged in 2016, none of the students have laid eyes on the charge sheet. "There is no intimation from the police. We're yet to see the charge sheet," says Umar Khalid, who adds that the students haven't tried accessing the charge sheet. At the same time, he claims that a few media houses appear to have access to it.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate questioned the Delhi police for filing the charge sheet without procuring requisite sanctions. Magistrate Deepak Sherawat granted the police time till February 6 to procure requisite sanctions after they told the court they will get the approvals within 10 days. The court is likely to resume hearing the matter soon.
Commenting on this, Umar says, "The Delhi police is aware of all the procedures while filing a charge sheet. This is nothing but an attempt to prolong the entire process so that it continues till the elections." The parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in April or May. "We're demanding a speedy trial. But I think they'll delay it till May so that it will be used as a political tool. We're hoping that people will see through it," Umar adds.
Anirban Bhattacharya, another JNU student named in the charge sheet says the delayed process is a gimmick to conduct a media trial in the case. "The Delhi Police gave the charge sheet to a few media houses but forgot to intimate us and take the court's sanction. They clearly want a media trial here and create a climate of violence in the country," he says.