The Delhi Police arrested 13 MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the last two years on charges ranging from rape, extortion, cheating, forgery to rioting.
For most of these offences bail is hard to come by, but all the 13 lawmakers are out on bail. In fact, two have been cleared of all charges.
Barring Sandeep Kumar, who is accused of rape, and Jitender Tomar, who faces charges of forging his college and law degrees, all others got bail in their first or second court appearance. They got bail after spending a few weeks in jail.
An HT investigation into the court papers of the cases against the 13 MLAs shows that the police are struggling to explain the charges in most cases, earning courts’ ire for shoddy investigation.
Take the case of Narela MLA Sharad Chauhan, accused of abetting suicide of a woman AAP volunteer. “It is noteworthy that the name of applicant (Chauhan) is nowhere stated by the deceased in her last statement,” the court said, giving bail to Chauhan.
It was also critical of police for misinterpreting the words “AML” — mentioned in one of the text messages sent by woman — to mean the MLA.
Police faced a tough time in the case of Matiala MLA Gulab Singh as well. He was arrested on October 16 on charges of extortion from Gujarat on a day he was to address a rally in the western state.
He was immediately given bail. The court pulled up police for waiting to arrest him on the day he was to speak at a rally and for rushing to Gujarat for reasons “best known to them”.
Police were “trying to spin beans beyond the basket”, the court said.
AAP has often accused the Delhi Police, which reports to the union home ministry, of harassment and acting at the behest of the Modi government, a charge denied by the force.
It described the arrests as “political conspiracy” to destabilise the Kejriwal government.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal repeated the accusations last week after the CBI opened a probe against deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and health minister Satyendar Jain’s daughter on corruption charges.
Granting bail to Akhilesh Tripathi in a case if sexual harassment and molestation, the court said the complainant’s statement was self-contradictory and cross-examination had discredited her testimony.
Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey said instead of focusing on the law and order, the Delhi Police were busy targeting AAP MLAs.
“The NDA government has not been able to accept the defeat in Delhi elections. Because of its ego and political frustration, it is not letting the Delhi government work,” Pandey said.
Delhi Police officers were not willing to come on record. “There should not be an iota of doubt against the police. The complainants in the case are not police. Whenever any cases comes to us, we examine it legally and process as per established procedure,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
AKHILESH TRIPATHI Model Town
FIR No. 85/15: Feb 6, 2015, Adarsh Nagar police station
Charged with: Causing hurt, wrongful confinement, sexual harassment and molestation
Arrested: Nov 26, 2015 Bail: Nov 27, 2015
Acquitted: March 3, 2016 by metropolitan magistrate Richa Manchanda
Court observation: Testimonies of two public witnesses are contradictory. Complainant is self contradictory and cross examination discredited her testimony. Court noted that a man – brother of the woman complainant, who was allegedly beaten by the MLA – was an important witness but police failed to trace him.
FIR No. 1072/15: Aug 11, 2015, Ghazipur police station
Charged with: Extortion
Arrested: November 21, 2015 Bail: December 3, 2015
Court observation: Prima facie, there is no direct involvement of the accused, and the allegations which have been leveled against him are only through the instrumentality of the co-accused through which the accused allegedly used to extort money.
FIR No. 535/16: July 20, 2016, Narela police station
Charged with: Abetment to suicide, kidnapping, circulating videos of a woman
Arrested: July 31, 2016 Bail: August 11, 2016
Court observation: While the woman was breathing her last at LNJP hospital, in her audio and video statement she named three men but not Chauhan. "It is noteworthy that the name of the applicant (Chauhan) is nowhere stated by the deceased in her last statement. " The court observed that in the woman’s statement recorded under CrPC 164, which is admissible as evidence, ‘the deceased (woman) did not name the applicant/accused (Chauhan) as the person responsible for her death’. Prosecution (police) is mainly relying upon the whatsapp message where the applicant (MLA) is referred as AML. However the statement of the deceased (woman) was recorded after this whatsapp message was sent and in that statement the deceased (woman) did not name the applicant.
COMMANDO SURENDER SINGH
FIR No. 418/15: Aug 4, 2015, Delhi Cantt police station
Charged with: Kidnapping a public servant, obstructing public servant from doing his/her duty, voluntarily causing hurt to public servant, sections of the SC/SC Act
Arrested: August 21, 2015 Bail: August 22, 2015
Court observation: Even if all allegations levelled by prosecution (police) are accepted on their face value, even then ingredients of the offence under section 367 IPC i.e. kidnapping or abducting a person in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc., are not even remotely attracted.
FIR No. 659/16: Sept 11, 2016, Hauz Khas police station
Arrested: September 22, 2016 Bail: September 22, 2016
Charged with: Assaulting a public servant on duty, obstructing public servant from discharging his/her duty, rioting and prevention of damage to public property Act.
Court observation: It noted that section 353 is not attracted at present, since the security guards who were allegedly assaulted do not fall within the ambit of public servant in the Indian penal Code.
FIR No. 745/15: Sept 29, 2015, Dwarka North police station
Arrested: Sept 29, 2015 Bail: October 7, 2015
Charged with: Dowry, domestic violence, attempt to murder, cheating, criminal intimidation
Court observation: "I have gone through police file and find no medical evidence in support of the incident of alleged wrist slit of night intervening 27, 28 May 2015. There is only one MLC dated June 11, which only mentions about old cut marks but no external injury." Perusal of case diary …dated September 30, 2015 shows that examination of dog (DON) by board of doctors of animal husbandry was conducted and applicant was directed to give commands to DON but it did not bark on his commands.
FIR No. 726/16: July 19, 2016, Jamia Nagar police station
Charged with: Attempt to culpable homicide, molestation, threatening and criminal intimidation, threatening complainant to withdraw the case. Arrested: July 24, 2016 Bail: July 29, 2016
Court observation: "There is no allegation in the FIR that it was the accused (Amanutullah Khan) who abused her or gave any threats to her. "
"Complainant (woman) came to police station on July 26 and alleged she was being pressured to retract her earlier statement. She alleged she was getting calls from unknown numbers to withdraw the case or change her statement. The complainant has nowhere accused that it was the accused (Amanutullah Khan) who made calls to her…The accused was apprehended in the case on July 24."
FIR No. 535/16: June 23, 2016, Neb Sarai police station
Arrested: June 25, 2016 Bail: June 29, 2016
Charged with: Molestation, threatening a woman Court observation: Police had competed investigation and so it would allow mail to the MLA.
FIR No. 695/15: July 21, 2015, Hauz Khas police station
Arrested: June 09, 2015
Bail: July 22, 2015
Police allegations: Accused him of submitting forged LLB and B SC degrees
Court observation: "It appears the substantial investigation is complete as he is in custody since June 09, including 12 days police custody remand."
FIR No. 589/16: Sept 13, 2016, Bindapur police station
Arrested: October 16, 2016 (in Gujarat) Bail: Produced before court on October 18 and bail granted on October 19
Court observation: "It is seen in case diary that non-bailable warrants were issued by the IO on October 13 for next date of hearing on October 28, 2016. It was well within the knowledge of the IO that accused Gulab Singh has been looking after the campaign work of Aam Aadmi Party in the coming elections in Gujarat and a rally was to be conveyed on October 16. But, the police for reasons best known to them, rushed to Gujarat by flight and arrested the accused from Gujarat."
"In the present application, the police is trying to spin the beans beyond the basket as according to the investigating officer, some other complainants have also come up against the present accused….However it is not permissible in law to join the subsequent complaints in the already registered FIR and the ongoing investigation."
FIR No. 108/16: June 25, 2016, City 1, Malerkotla 1 police station
Arrested: July 24, 2016 Bail: July, 30, 2016 Charged with: Sections - 295 A, 153 A, 120 B, 109 IPC
Public prosecutor told court that main accused Vijay Kumar named MLA Yadav in his statement under 164 CrPC (before magistrate). The PP said MLA Yadav was in touch with co-accused Vijay Kumar from June 19, 2016 to June 24, 2016. Police accused Yadav of ordering Kumar to tear pages of Quran and said the evidence collected so far proved there was a conspiracy between the applicant and other accused.
Court observation: "The allegations made against him are that there is a conspiracy between him and the other accused. Details of the calls and SMS have been collected by police during investigation but the nature of discussion made through call and messages is not in police file."
FIR No. 506/16: Nov 7, 2016, Sultanpuri police station
Arrested: September 3, 2016 Bail: November 7, 2016 Police allegations: Kumar, who was Delhi’s women and child development minister, was charged with raping a woman on the pretext of helping her get a ration card. The woman alleged he was blackmailing her after recording the act.
Court observations: "I have seen it in my chamber (video tape) on the laptop brought by the investigating agency… Material collected by the investigating officer prima facie discloses allegations of sexual assault by the applicant/accused (Kumar) after having intoxicated the complainant. The question whether it was consensual act or it was a passive submission due to fear of blackmailing is also a matter of trial. Keeping in view that applicant/accused was available for interrogation…moreover as applicant/accused is a sitting member of Delhi legislative assembly there is no chance of his fleeing from justice."
FIR No. 226/16: June 6, 2016, Greater Kailash police station
Arrested: August 24, 2016 Bail: August 28, 2016
Police allegations: A woman accused the Deoli MLA of molestation when she went to complain about water problems in her area.
Court observation: Without going into merits of the case, it has come up that there is a delay of 34 days in the registration of the FIR. No action was taken by police on a previous complaint dated June 27 lodged by the complainant with the ACP Ambedkar Nagar, on the ground that the complainant also being a political personality.
FIR No. N/A: May 23, 2016 , Hari Nagar police station
Arrested: May 29
Bail: Same day from police station. Non cognizable offence
Case: FIR for causing hurt, criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint of manager of a waste management company on May 21, 2016. Got bail from police station itself.
FIR No. N/A: Jan 28, 2016, Nihal Vihar police station
Arrested: January 29, 2016
Bail: January 30, 2016
Case: Rioting and assaulting a public servant at a protest in west Delhi’s Nihal Vihar on January 27, 2016.
Court: Granted bail after furnishing bond of Rs 20,000
Feb 20, 2017 21:26 IST
Feb 20, 2017 22:00 IST