Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Tuesday moved to court urging it to restrain the city police from “leaking contents of the chargesheet” against them in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash to the media.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal took the application, moved by Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and 11 AAP MLAs, on record and sought a response form the Delhi police on it by August 25.
The Delhi police on Monday filed a chargesheet against Kejriwal, Sisodia and 11 legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party — Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohania.
In an application, field by advocate Mohd Irshad, the AAP politicians said that “the investigating agency is selectively leaking the excerpts of the chargesheet to the media malafidely, to assassinate the character of the persons allegedly mentioned in the chargesheet, especially Kejriwal and Sisodia.”
It said that the matter was sub-judice and the probe agency had no power to pass on the contents of the chargesheet to the media before cognisance is taken by the court.
“The act and conduct of the probe agency is an interference in the administration of justice as their only intention is to create hype in the media and to influence the proceedings so that the image of the chief minister and deputy chief minister are adversely affected,” the application said.
It claimed that if the agency is not restrained from making such “uncalled for, unwarranted and biased comments against the two constitutional authorities (CM and Dy CM), same would cause irreparable loss to their image and the proceeding in the case would also be affected.”
In around 1,300-page chargesheet, the police has alleged that the accused had criminally conspired to threaten the chief secretary of death or grievous hurt, obstructed him in discharging his public function and caused hurt.
It has also accused the AAP leaders of other offences punishable under sections of IPC, including wrongfully confining any person, assaulting or using criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, insulting him to provoke breach of peace and abetment of the offence.
They were also charge-sheeted for offence committed under IPC section 149, which says if an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly, every other member of such assembly shall be held guilty of the offence.
The court has put up the chargesheet for consideration on August 25. If convicted, the accused may get a maximum of seven years jail.
The Delhi Police had on May 18 questioned Kejriwal for over three hours in connection with the alleged assault on Prakash.
Prakash was allegedly assaulted during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on the night of February 19. The police said the chief minister was present when the alleged assault took place.
Police have already questioned 11 AAP MLAs present at the chief minister’s residence for the meeting. Two of the party MLAs — Amantullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal –were arrested in the case.
The alleged assault on the chief secretary had triggered a bitter tussle between the Delhi government and its bureaucrats.