Delhi Police Monday filed a chargesheet against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and 11 other Aam Aadmi Party MLAs over the alleged assault on Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash. The chargesheet was filed in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, who posted the matter for cognizance on August 25.
The alleged assault took place on the intervening night of February 19 and 20 at Kejriwal’s residence, when Prakash was called for a meeting. A case was registered on Prakash’s complaint, who had alleged that he had been assaulted by AAP MLAs.
Apart from Kejriwal and Sisodia, MLAs Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohaniya have been made accused.
In its 1,300-page chargesheet, police have not specified the role of each person in the alleged assault, but Kejriwal and Sisodia have been charged under the same 13 sections as the other 11.
Additional DCP (north) Harendra Kumar Singh confirmed that all 13 persons, including the CM, Deputy CM and the 11 MLAs, have been named in the chargesheet. “All sections are equally applicable on all accused persons,” said Singh.
Following the incident, MLAs Khan and Jarwal had been arrested, but Delhi Police were denied permission for their custodial questioning. The court had said “detention” in police custody should not be allowed as a matter of course, but only on “substantial grounds”. Both were granted bail later.
During the initial hearing on February 22, contradictory statements by Kejriwal’s advisor V K Jain made news. In his first statement to police, he had said he was present at the February 19 meeting, but denied witnessing the alleged assault and said he was in the “washroom” for a few minutes.
But in subsequent statements recorded under CrPC 161 and 164, Jain said he saw Prakash being assaulted. Jain, in his 164 CrPC statement, is learnt to have said: “When I came back, I saw two MLAs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who were sitting, were ‘physically assaulting’ Prakash and asking why are you not working… They were pushing him and were threatening him after pressing his chin… Following this incident, his spectacles fell.”
Prakash, who was examined at Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital after the incident, had “swelling” behind both ears and cheekbone as well as a “bruise” on the lower lip, the medico legal case report had said.
However, defence counsel BS Joon, during a hearing, had said: “Surprisingly, medical examination of the complainant was conducted after registration of FIR under IPC 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty). How could an FIR be registered without the MLC under this section?”
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In February, police had lodged a case under eight IPC sections, but added five more sections in the chargesheet.
According to court records, the chargesheet has been filed under IPC sections 186 (obstructing a public servant); 323 (voluntarily causing hurt); 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant for doing his duty); 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement); 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant to discharge his duties); 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of peace); 506(ii )(punishment for criminal intimidation); 120B (criminal conspiracy); 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express is made for its punishment); 114 (abettor present when offence is committed); 149 (unlawful assembly); 34 (common intention); and 36 (effect caused partly by act and partly by omission).
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