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Anshu Prakash assault case: Delhi High Court seeks police's response on plea filed by AAP MLAs

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sought a response from the city police on a bail plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Prakash Jarwal, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to the Delhi Police and directed them to file a status report in the matter by 7 March. Jarwal had moved the high court on Wednesday after a sessions court denied him bail, saying he had "openly violated the dignity" of a 56-year-old public servant.

Senior advocate Rebecca M John, appearing for the MLA, told the court that the investigation in the matter is over and no further custody was required.

File image of Delhi High Court. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"The learned Session judge has failed to appreciate that the FIR was registered at 1 pm the next day which constituted a substantial delay, given the fact that the complainant (Prakash) himself is at a powerful position with direct access to the highest officials of the Delhi Police. Therefore, the FIR is a clear afterthought and motivated to falsely implicate the petitioner and others," John submitted before the court.

The senior advocate also told the court that the police presented a wrong picture about the previous involvements of the MLA in other cases as those matters were political in nature which have either been quashed or not yet proven to be true.

In his bail plea, the Deoli MLA pointed out that the Sessions Court had made a general remark while denying him bail, that he may influence the witness being in power.

"However, she (sessions judge) has failed to consider the fact that the complainant (Prakash) is a powerful bureaucrat and is an extremely influential person himself with access to the highest levels of government and bureaucracy," it said.

The counsel for the AAP MLA sought his release, saying he is a sitting MLA and not a hardened criminal. Jarwal, who was arrested on 20 February, is currently undergoing a 14-day judicial custody in the case in which another MLA, Amanatullah Khan, was also arrested.

The court, while refusing to grant bail to Jarwal, had said the situation could not be more alarming when lawmakers do not respect the rule of law. While dismissing the MLA's plea, the court had noted that the chief secretary's allegations were confirmed by his medical report as well as the statement of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's adviser VK Jain, who had claimed that he saw the chief secretary being assaulted by the MLAs.

Seeking bail before the sessions court, Jarwal's counsel had pleaded that the MLA was a young politician and got married recently on 6 February, so he be granted relief.

Opposing the bail plea, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava had argued that it was a serious offence as a top state bureaucrat had been assaulted. The police had also alleged that the CCTV footage taken from the chief minister's house appears to have been tampered with.

A magisterial court had on February 23 refused to grant bail to Khan and Jarwal, in the assault case saying the matter cannot be treated in a "casual and routine manner" while dubbing them "history-sheeters". Khan has not yet challenged the magisterial court's order denying him bail.

Both MLAs were sent to 14-day judicial custody by the court. While Jarwal was arrested on 20 February, Khan, an MLA from Okhla, was taken into custody the next day.


Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 13:02 PM

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