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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Cases against AAP not holding up in court, cops meet to talk strategy

In the five-and-a-half months since special fast track courts were set up in Delhi to hear cases involving sitting MPs and MLAs, AAP legislators have been discharged or acquitted in 19 out of 22 cases filed by security agencies.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: September 4, 2018 10:14:25 am
Cases against AAP not holding up in court, cops meet to talk strategy Among the AAP leaders who got relief in the 19 cases are Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and former minister Asim Ahmed Khan. (Illustration: Suvajit Dey)

As case after case against Aam Aadmi Party MLAs fall apart in court, the special commissioner of police (law and order) of the southern range last week called a meeting of seven deputy commissioners of police and directed them to thoroughly investigate the remaining cases before filing a chargesheet, it is learnt.

In the five-and-a-half months since special fast track courts were set up in Delhi to hear cases involving sitting MPs and MLAs, AAP legislators have been discharged or acquitted in 19 out of 22 cases filed by security agencies. Among the AAP leaders who got relief in the 19 cases are Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and former minister Asim Ahmed Khan. Until July 31, records show, the party’s MLAs were convicted in two cases. In another case, they show, the CBI filed a closure report citing lack of evidence.

Sources told The Indian Express that Special CP R P Upadhyay and Special CP (law and order of northern range) Sandeep Goel were asked by the police commissioner to meet DCPs who report to them and discuss cases registered against MLAs and MPs in the capital. “Upadhyay called a meeting with seven DCPs at his office at the Delhi Police headquarters at 11 am on Friday, and the issue of cases against AAP MLAs falling apart in court was discussed,” a source said.

Read | Charges against AAP MLAs: How the cases fell

“In the meeting, which lasted one-and-a-half hours, Upadhyay discussed all cases registered against MLAs and MPs in various districts. They first discussed shortcomings in the chargesheet and investigation. Upadhyay pointed out that in one case, the investigation officer had not taken a complaint document under Section 195 of the CrPC from the head of department of a government employee, who had accused an MLA. Despite this, the IO went ahead and filed a chargesheet before a Delhi court,” an official said.

Sources said Upadhyay directed DCPs to conduct a thorough investigation before approaching the courts, and discuss the case with the police’s legal department instead of leaving things to the IO.

When contacted, Upadhyay said, “I had called a meeting but it was related to pending investigation, not particular to anyone.”

The courts of Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Arvind Kumar and Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal were set up at Patiala House Court in the first week of March, following an order by the Supreme Court in February.

Read | Delhi fast track courts acquit, discharge AAP MLAs in 19 of 22 cases

Since then, ASJ Kumar disposed of one case registered against AAP by the CBI, which later filed a closure report. ACMM Samar Vishal disposed of 21 cases against the party’s lawmakers registered by Delhi Police under various charges — from violation of the Defacement Act and extortion to disobeying an order promulgated by a public servant.

The grounds for acquitting the MLAs in a majority of cases vary. In five cases, ACMM Vishal cited late filing of chargesheet without any cogent explanation by Delhi Police. Other reasons cited by the courts include lack of evidence, registration of FIR after “inordinate” delays, filing of chargesheet on the “basis of presumption”, and “groundless allegations”.

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