April 10, 2021 2:14:34 am
A Delhi court Friday convicted AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi in a 2013 rioting case in which the MLA and over 300 people protested against police for not taking serious action in a murder case.
Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, in the order, said the prosecution has proved Tripathi’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt for the offence under IPC section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) read with IPC section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and he is convicted for the same. The court acquitted Tripathi of other offences for which he faced trial in many sections pertaining to rioting.
The court will now hear arguments on sentencing on April 27.
Co-accused Geeta, on the other hand, was found guilty under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) read with IPC Section 149 along with Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.
Fifteen of the 17 accused persons, some of whom are AAP members, have been acquitted of all charges against them.
Tripathi’s lawyer Prashant Manchanda told The Indian Express, “Consequent to a thorough trial, no substance in the allegations of instigating riots, destruction of property and causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty has been found against Tripathi and other 15 accused persons… the entire incident was a ploy used by erstwhile ruling dispensation to nip rising political opponent Aam Aadmi Party at the bud.”
According to police, Tripathi — Model Town MLA — and other party workers allegedly instigated a mob of about 300 people against the Delhi Police claiming it had not taken serious action to catch the culprits in a murder case. It was alleged that the protesters had placed the victim’s body on the road to block traffic.
Charges were framed against them under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in carrying out their duty), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (causing hurt to public servant) read with 149 (unlawful assembly) and under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.
This is the second AAP MLA who has been convicted by a court this year. AAP leader Somnath Bharti was also convicted in a case where a mob had broken the boundary wall at AIIMS. Bharti’s conviction and two-year prison sentence has been stayed by the Delhi High court.
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