JNU sedition case: Delhi HC dismisses plea for NIA probe

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused an NIA probe into the alleged anti-national activities at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus.

JNU sedition case: Delhi HC dismisses plea for NIA probe
ABVP activists protest against an event at JNU supporting Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in New Delhi.
Play

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected a plea seeking a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the alleged anti-national activities on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus.

The court added that the plea was "premature" as the police is already investigating the matter.

"It is an incident of February 9. The 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."

 

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."

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 the 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.

The plea was yesterday filed in the high court soon after a group of men in lawyers' robes thrashed students and mediapersons in Patiala House court complex here ahead of the hearing in the sedition case in which Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested.

The petition had alleged that the Delhi Police was not probing the case properly and the matter should be transferred to National Investigation Agency.

Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12 in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy over an event at the university against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

The same day, he was remanded in three days police custody by a court here after the police said his and five other absconding accused' alleged links with terrorist groups were being probed.

On Monday, his custody was extended by two days.

A case was registered under Sections of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) Police station following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP.

The event was held despite the varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who had termed the activity as "anti-national".

(With Agency inputs)