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Delhi High Court rejects plea for NIA probe into JNU sedition row

The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea demanding a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the sedition case filed against JNU student
leader Kanhaiya Kumar.

Delhi High Court-AV

Rejecting the petition filed by Lucknow-based lawyer Ranjana Agnihotri, the Bench of Justice Manmohan said it was “premature”, as the investigation by Delhi Police could not be faulted so soon. There was no reason to assume that the Delhi Police were incompetent to handle the case, said the court.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition case has sparked a heated political debate and ugly street fight. JNU campus resembled a battlefield as the Left and Right-wing students, teachers and general staff remained in a state of high alert in their respective barracks.

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 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 incident took place only on February 9. This court is confident that Delhi Police will investigate all the aspects. The petitioner approached the court without making any representation to any government authorities. The petition is premature,” said the court.

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.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case on February 12 after an event held on the university campus against the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Advocate Agnihotri also sought the appointment of a judicial commission to look into the February 9 incidents on the JNU campus.

On February 12, Kumar was sent to police custody for three days by a court here. On Monday, his police custody was extended by two days.

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