AAP MLAs vs chief secretary: Delhi HC questions law and order situation in national capital

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday questioned the law and order situation in the capital while hearing the bail plea of one of the two AAP MLAs, arrested for allegedly assaulting Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.

The court said it was concerned that if "a person" can be assaulted in the presence of the Delhi chief minister and the deputy chief minister, what will happen at other places.

"At a place where the chief minister is sitting, a person is assaulted. What is the law and order situation. This is happening in front of the chief minister. I am not going on the personality of the person who was assaulted. You need to answer this," Justice Mukta Gupta said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The court's remark came while hearing the bail plea of Deoli MLA Prakash Jarwal, who was arrested on 20 February in connection with the chief secretary's assault case.

The judge said, "I am concerned that if a person is assaulted in the presence of the chief minister and deputy chief minister, what will happen at other places? How should I be satisfied that no such incident would take place in future?"

The court, which has called for a file relating to Jarwal's previous criminal case, would resume the hearing on his bail plea after some time.

The court is also scheduled to hear the bail application of AAP's Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, who was also arrested in the case on 21 February.

During the hearing, senior advocates Rebecca John and Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Jarwal, sought bail for him saying that he was ready to abide by any condition and will give it on an affidavit that if he violates any condition, his bail shall be cancelled.

The counsel further claimed that only heated arguments took place between the MLAs and the chief secretary and no assault took place.

The police, in its status report filed through advocate Sanjay Lau, said that as per the medical report of the senior bureaucrat, his injuries were of simple nature but two of the provisions invoked on Jarwal were non-bailable.

While opposing the bail plea, he termed the incident as "very unfortunate" and said the police has collected the video recording from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, where the incident took place.

He told the court that Jarwal's name was not mentioned in the FIR because the chief secretary was initially not aware of the name of those who assaulted him.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the chief secretary, filed an intervention application and opposed Jarwal's bail plea saying the bureaucrat was called in the room consciously because no camera were there and he was made to sit between two persons.

The high court had on 1 March issued notice to Delhi Police on Jarwal's bail plea and sought a status report in the matter.

Amanatullah Khan had on Tuesday moved his bail plea before the high court.

Jarwal and Khan are undergoing 14-day judicial custody, which expires on Thursday, in connection with the alleged assault on the bureaucrat during a meeting at Arvind Kejriwal's residence on the night of 19 February.

A magisterial court had earlier denied bail to both of them, saying the matter cannot be treated in "a casual and routine manner" while dubbing them as "history-sheeters".

Jarwal had then moved a sessions court and was again denied the relief with the court saying the situation could not be more alarming when lawmakers do not respect the rule of law.

Published Date: Mar 07, 2018 14:44 PM | Updated Date: Mar 07, 2018 14:44 PM

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