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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Withdraw riot case against Gurgaon MLA: Govt to court

FIR was filed against Umesh Aggarwal and others in 2011 for violence during a demolition drive.

Written by Sandali Tiwari | Gurgaon | Published: July 6, 2015 2:06:42 am

Four years after a case of rioting was filed against Gurgaon MLA Umesh Aggarwal, the assistant public prosecutor, representing the Haryana government, has submitted a plea in the city district court for withdrawing it.

Giving details of the case, a senior police officer said an FIR was filed on a complaint of the then District Town Planner (Enforcement Wing) Mukesh Kumar in March 2011. Kumar had gone to Sukhrali Enclave to stop an illegal construction.

“However, the team was attacked by a mob of over 500 people, of which Aggarwal was allegedly a part. The situation got out of hand when people started pelting stones at the team and even damaged vehicles, including a government bus and a Tata Sumo,” the officer said.
An FIR was filed against Aggarwal and other people for rioting, violence and criminal intimidation.

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In his defence, Aggarwal said, “I was working as a social worker when the incident took place. In the larger good of people and to protect the poor from being abandoned, we had only gone to the spot to request the officials to stop the demolition. When the violence occurred, I was not even at the spot. I did what a local leader was meant to do.”

The action taken that time was politically motivated by the Congress, which was in power then, he said.

“I have been to similar demolition drives in Sheetla Mata Colony and the area near the Indian Air Force ammunition depot after becoming a legislator. Even now, we try and intervene when demolitions take place, however no case is filed. Such cases are futile and hold no ground. They can easily be withdrawn keeping the larger public good in mind. Case withdraw karne mein na to kisi ka nuksaan hai, na hi kisi ka fayada (Withdrawing the case will neither harm nor benefit anyone),” Aggarwal said.

The final decision on the withdrawal of the case will be taken by the court on July 7 when the case comes up for hearing.

In the last hearing, the plea was filed in the court of Varsha Sharma, Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMIC). The Haryana government has requested the court to withdraw the case and not prosecute the now Gurgaon City MLA.

The plea letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, states, “To maintain peace and harmony in society and in public interest, the accused persons may not be prosecuted as they were just raising their protest to save their home and families.”

“The Haryana government vide memo No. 18/3/2015-7HG-II dated 03.06.2015 issued by the additional chief secretary to the Haryana government, Home department has also agreed to withdraw the above case from prosecuting,” the letter states.

According to officials, the application of withdrawal has been filed under Section 321 of the CrPC to shield the MLA from prosecution.
“Section 321 of the CrPC is exercised by the public prosecutor independently and by the magistrate judiciously to promote public justice and to avoid its misuse. But invariably when important political figures are involved, the principles are often disregarded. The mere plea of ‘no ground’ by the prosecution is questionable in itself. In this particular case, why does the state that was pursuing the case for four years wants to withdraw it soon after Aggarwal turned an MLA?” a senior city-based lawyer said.

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