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Two police officers stand up to vigilante ministers Bharti, Birla

When Law Minister Somnath Bharti harangued the Delhi Police, trying to force a raid and arrest of those involved in a suspected drug and prostitution racket, ACP B S Jakhar kept calm.

New Delhi | Published: January 17, 2014 3:56 am
A TV grab of Bharti arguing with a police officer. A TV grab of Bharti arguing with a police officer.

When Law Minister Somnath Bharti harangued the Delhi Police, trying to force a raid and arrest of those involved in a suspected drug and prostitution racket, ACP B S Jakhar kept calm.

Around 2 am on Thursday, the ACP was locked in a heated debate with the minister in the middle of the road for over 20 minutes. Jakhar kept explaining that the minister’s demand was against the law and that such action never hold up in court, but the minister refused to listen.

Speaking to Newsline, Jakhar said he tried to reason with Bharti that police will be hauled up by the court if they make arrests in such an irresponsible manner. But the minister was adamant that a raid be conducted and arrests made, he said.

Jakhar said, “The minister told me that the women inside are part of a drug racket and that we should conduct a raid in all houses in the area. I told him that the law does not permit us to barge into someone’s house, so late in the night, without a search warrant. I then told him that he should let us search the vehicle first. If we find any drugs inside the vehicle, then it will give us a reason to search the houses, as the recovered drugs can be used as evidence, but the minister blatantly refused.”

The ACP said AAP workers with Bharti started to argue with the policemen that if they won’t do their job, then the AAP workers would do it.

“I told the minister that I have great respect for him, but they should not cross the limit as what his partymen were saying was against the law,” Jakhar said.
The ACP said he asked the minister to give the orders for a raid in writing. “He agreed at first, but later when officials got him a paper to write, he refused, saying ‘I am the law minister. I am giving orders, why should I give it in writing’,” he said.

Sources said police later carried out a search of the vehicle, but no drugs were found.
Elsewhere in the city, Women and Child Development Minister Rakhi Birla was also railing against police, this time, in connection with a dowry harassment case.

A woman was allegedly set ablaze by her in-laws on January 13. The minister, who reached the Sagarpur police station in Southwest Delhi by 9.30 pm on Wednesday, wanted the SHO to take strict action against the suspects (in-laws).

Speaking to Newsline, Additional DCP D K Gupta said Birla wanted to inspect the crime scene. The minister was informed that the SHO was on night patrol and the additional SHO would help her. “The additional SHO assured her that the father-in-law of the victim was arrested the same day the victim filed a complaint. There was no delay,” Gupta said.

He said police explained to Birla that adequate action has been taken in the case, but she wanted to visit the victim’s house. “The minister proceeded to the victim’s house and the additional SHO said he would follow her. In the meantime, the SHO also reached the victim’s house. There, they found the house locked as the family members were on the run since the arrest of the father-in-law,” he said.
Birla reportedly asked police to break into the house. Police broke into the house by 1.30 am, only to find it empty.

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  1. A
    Jan 17, 2014 at 4:41 am
    Interesting. The minister should now follow up properly to bust the racket. In fact, even earlier, he should have done this work more systematically. How did TV crew accompany the minister? It seems he wanted publicity and not a real solution to the issue. Otherwise, instead calling TV crews and putting the story on TV, he would have put more thought on how to solve the issue systematically.
    1. D
      Jan 17, 2014 at 5:27 am
      AAP has large number of followers who do not understand the concepts of liberal democracy and legal intricacies. Sections of them live under open skies whose aspirations are easily heightened such an atmosphere,governance becomes a casualty.A broad social education is necessary for all interests.Otherwise, euphoric fervour will evaporate with a wink.
      1. I
        Irva Rao
        Jan 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm
        And the fear is ANARCHY will set in because if the LAW MINISTER & the CHIEF MINISTER do not obey the law what can you expect from the common man.All what the AAP wants is cheap publicity
        1. Rocky Rocky
          Jan 17, 2014 at 3:12 am
          First of all, there has to be some decency in communications between police and AAP ministers. All the initial communication needs to be in writing through emails so that there is a record. Since AAP ministry does not control the police directly, formal requests are all the more important. The current dealings between the two sound very childish.
          1. S
            Steven Boyd
            Jan 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm
            WELL DONE AAP These sort of direct actions by the AAP have a symbolic importance. They send a strong message that the bureaucracy must focus on their jobs with vigour and energy. A minister going into direct action like this is a example thats it's a new administration with a new reality. Make arrests now the courts will sort it out later. Everyone will get justice.Keep it up AAP galvanise the administration get it out of its complacency.
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