Updated: August 11, 2021 7:40:33 am
Following the arrest of six men, including Supreme Court lawyer and former Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, in connection with alleged inflammatory and anti-Muslim slogans at Jantar Mantar, the Delhi Police told a court that the accused persons should not be released as they may go back to society and create a law and order problem.
Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Tanvi Khurana reserved the order on two seperate pleas by the police, which sought police remand of two persons and judicial custody of the other four.
Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava moved the application seeking 14-day judicial custody of Upadhayay, Preet Singh, Vinod Kumar and Deepak Kumar. The prosecution moved a three-day police custody remand of the two accused, Deepak Singh and Vineet.
Upadhayay’s lawyers moved a bail application before the court as well as an application seeking a copy of the FIR.
Srivastava denied the plea seeking a copy of the FIR, saying that since it was marked as sensitive by the DCP concerned, it could not be handed over to the accused. He also cited Supreme Court judgements to support his argument.
Advocate Ashwani Dubey, who appeared for Upadhayay, told the court that he does even know the contents of the FIR and added, “Law has been misused deliberately by the police. It is not a UAPA section which has been invoked. A communal rift has not been created, no riot has taken place. This case relates to alleged hate speech.
If external aggression or internal disturbance have taken place only then the prosecutor’s argument holds.”
Srivastava told the court that the police had informed in advance that permission will not be given for the event due to the ongoing Parliament session, Independence Day preparations and the Covid situation, but “despite rejection, they start(ed) to gather at a predetermined time”.
Srivastava also read out some slogans raised during the event and submitted, “Our country is a secular country. It is the basic structure of your country. Despite that you are gathering there.”
Lawyers for the other accused told the court that there was no evidence against them and that they were not present at the event during the incident. Upadhayay’s lawyers submitted that he was not present for a period of five hours when the incident took place. They also submitted that Upadhayay himself approached the police with a pendrive containing proof that he was not present at the spot.
Upadhayay, who was produced through video conferencing, told the court: “I was the first person to complain to the police. I have submitted my complaint in writing to DCP (New Delhi). Neither am I an organiser nor a sponsor. I have not seen these persons. I will cooperate with the investigation.”
Srivastava told the court, “I have high regard for my lawyer friend. He knows law… He was informed well in advance that his permission has been denied. He still went on with it. 5,000 persons have assembled. Without arrest, it was not possible to complete the investigation. There will be further law and order situation also… He may go in society and create unruly situation.”
The Sunday protest against “colonial-era laws” was called by Upadhyay, and the rally had hundreds of people in attendance. Purported videos of the event showed people shouting slogans threatening harm to Muslims.
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