A city court on Wednesday denied anticipatory bail to Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi Cantonment MLA Surinder Singh, paving the way for his possible arrest on charges of assault on New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) employees and making casteist remarks against them.
The employees belong to the Scheduled Caste.
Saying that the facts before it amounted to a crime under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh said the Act barred the grant of anticipatory bail to a person accused of such activities.
“The words alleged to have been used fall within the category of verbal abuse as defined by (SC/ST) Act. The words used by the accused are an insult to the Scheduled Caste and were uttered in public view,” said the judge.
Singh, a former NSG Commando, along with two others are accused of beating up NDMC employee Mukesh, who was part of a team that was conducting a routine check of encroachment in Tughlaq Road area on August 4.
Singh’s counsels HS Phoolka and JP Sharma had earlier argued Singh’s remarks did not fall into the categories of a crime under the SC/ST Act as they hadn’t been directed at members of the NDMC team who were SC or ST.
The court, however, said that “the offence is alleged to have taken place where the (NDMC) enforcement team was performing its public functions.”
He added: “The members of the enforcement unit would have been the natural receivers of the abuse as they were all together. Their presence cannot be excluded on the grounds that it should be presumed that they were not independent or impartial.”
The court said the accused’s advocate had filed a application on Wednesday to show that he had joined the investigation and come before the investigating officer at 8.25 pm at August 11.
Sanitary inspector R J Meena, on whose complaint the FIR was lodged, had said the NDMC team was acting against the vendor for encroachment when the MLA beat up Mukesh along with his men.