Just Rs 999: 1-year pack + offers

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement

Court acquits former Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam for flouting Covid protocol during protest

The court also said there is no proof showing that the accused persons were informed either by loudspeakers/ banners/ placards regarding imposition of the prohibition of large gatherings.

Rajendra Pal Gautam (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

A Delhi court recently acquitted former Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, MLA Durgesh Pathak and 36 others in a July 2020 protest case.

Police had arrested the accused persons for protesting against the rising prices of petrol and diesel at DDU Marg while flouting Covid protocols.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta said there are “material contradictions in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and there are serious lacunas in the investigation carried out by the police officials ignoring well laid down principles and legal precedents and the directions given by their own senior police officials.”

The court noted that in the whole chargesheet, there is not a single mention of a lady police officer and no lady police officer was made a witness by the prosecution despite allegations that multiple female protestors were detained at the spot. The court said that this meant that either there were no female protestors or their detention in the absence of female police officers was illegal “flouting the well-laid down principles regarding the arrest and detention of women accused persons.”

Subscriber Only Stories

It also noted that no video footage regarding the assembly has been placed on record by the prosecution which severely hampers the case of the prosecution.

The court furthermore said there is no proof showing that the accused persons were informed either by loudspeakers/ banners/ placards regarding imposition of the prohibition of large gatherings.

“So, this court giving accused persons benefit of doubt is of the view that the prohibition order issued under section 144 CrPC was not validly communicated to the accused persons,” the court said.

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 08:13 IST
Next Story

Why China’s plans to move its UK embassy to historic Royal Mint Court sparked a row

Tags:
Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X