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‘You have admitted your failures’: Delhi High Court to police over attack on CM Kejriwal’s residence

The court said that the Delhi Police commissioner should inquire whether the security arrangements were adequate and the reasons for their failure. The court also asked the city’s top police officer to fix the responsibility for the lapse “which admittedly has occurred”.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
April 25, 2022 5:12:24 pm
BJYM president Tejaswi Surya with supporters atop a police vehicle outside Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence (Twitter/BJYM)

Weeks after nearly 200 protestors belonging to the BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BYJM) broke through police barricades outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence and slammed the main gate, the Delhi High Court on Monday questioned the security arrangements made by the police to prevent the incident and said that it is clear that there was a failure.

“This kind of an incident happening at the residence of any constitutional functionary whether it is the chief minister … it could be a judge, any other Union minister… This is a very disturbing state of affairs that this kind of a thing could in the first place occur or such miscreants should succeed in their endeavour,” said the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla.

Asking the police to explain how the barricades were breached by the protestors, the court told the police: “If people could breach three barricades, then you need to seriously look at your efficiency, your functioning”.

The court earlier perused a sealed-cover status report filed by the police. On March 31, it had asked the Delhi Police to file a status report within two weeks on the investigation carried out by it. “Once there is a security failure, it is something that has to come with consequences,” said the court after reading the report.

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The court added: “We definitely are not satisfied with your report with regard to the bandobast. You have only admitted your failures that there was a breach at point A, point B and then point C. How can the police be heard to say this”.

In the order passed on Monday, the court said that the Delhi Police commissioner should inquire whether the security arrangements were adequate and the reasons for their failure. The court also asked the city’s top police officer to fix the responsibility for the lapse “which admittedly has occurred” and listed the matter for next hearing on May 17.

The court was hearing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj’s petition seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a retired high court judge for an independent probe into the attack.

Bhardwaj also sought a probe into the role of police officers who were responsible for maintaining the security cordon outside the chief minister’s residence. Besides seeking a direction for appropriate security outside Kejriwal’s residence, the petition also prays for compliance of an earlier court order for securing the road outside it.

Submitting that the violence was directed towards Kejriwal and his family, Bhardwaj argued that the violence was meant to subdue the highest elected official of the national capital by the use of force and, therefore, also the elected government of the national capital. “This was a direct attack on democracy,” reads the petition.

Accusing the Delhi Police of completely abdicating its duty, Bhardwaj alleged that it appears the police “was hand in glove with the goons as the goons are members of the ruling party in the central government” which controls the force. In the past as well, there was an attack on the residence of the deputy chief minister and then also the police did not take any steps to stop the attackers, he alleged.

“It is due to such inaction and complicity of the police that BJP goons have become emboldened to carry out repeated attacks on elected officials of the Government of NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi,” Bhardwaj said further in the plea.

Doubting that Delhi Police will carry out a fair investigation in the case, Bhardwaj further argued that when attacks on elected officials in Delhi are becoming a routine matter, if responsibility is not fixed, then the public will lose confidence in the rule of law.

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