The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the police’s reply on the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Prakash Jarwal in the case of alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. The Delhi Police has, meanwhile, summoned two AAP MLAs – Nitin Tyagi and Rajesh Rishi – asking them to join the probe in connection with the alleged assault case on the Delhi Chief Secretary.
Justice Mukta Gupta issued a notice to the Delhi Police and told them to submit a status report on the same by March 7. Jarwal had moved the HC on Wednesday after he was refused bail by a sessions court. The court had said that Jarwal had “openly violated the dignity” of the chief secretary. Jarwal’s counsel, senior advocate Rebecca M John, informed the HC that probe in the case was over and that the MLA’s custody was no longer necessary.
“The learned Session judge has failed to appreciate that the FIR was registered at 1 PM next day which constituted substantial delay given the fact that complainant (Prakash)himself is at a powerful position with direct access to the highest officials of the Delhi Police. Therefore, the FIR is a clear afterthought and motivated to falsely implicate the petitioner and others,” John submitted before the court.
John also told the HC that the police gave a wrong picture about the past involvements of Jarwal in other cases as those matters were political in nature which have either been quashed or not yet proven to be true.
In his bail plea, Jarwal pointed out that the sessions court had made a general remark while refusing him bail that he may influence the witness being in power. “However, she (sessions judge) has failed to consider the fact that the complainant (Prakash) is a powerful bureaucrat and is an extremely influential person himself with access to the highest levels of government and bureaucracy,” it said. The counsel for the AAP MLA sought his release, saying he is a sitting MLA and not a hardened criminal.
Jarwal, along with AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, is currently under a 14-day judicial custody in north-west Delhi’s Mandoli. They are the co-accused in the case. The bail application of both the MLAs was declined by a magisterial court on February 23, with the court staying that the case was “highly sensitive”.
The Chief Secretary led a candlelight march titled ‘March for Dignity’ from the Delhi Secretariat to the Rajghat on Wednesday demanding a written apology from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the apparent incident. Prakash was joined by government employees and bureaucrats, included IAS and DANIC officers, in the march.
The alleged incident has affected the functioning of the Delhi Secretariat as IAS and DANICS officers have been boycotting meetings with CM Kejriwal and his cabinet and only maintaining written communication with them.
(With PTI inputs)