The Delhi High Court chastised the Delhi Police on Tuesday for prolonging the "illegal detention" of former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav and 82 volunteers of his Swaraj Abhiyan before they were released on the order of a special executive magistrate.
"When you have arrested late in the night yesterday why they were not produced since morning (before the magistrate)," a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and PS Teji said.
In the midst of the hearing around 420PM when the counsel appearing for Ministry of Home Affairs said that all of them have been released, the bench in its order noted "the prime concern was to release these persons, which has been done."
"Reserving the liberty to the petitioner, the petition is disposed of considering the fact that all the 83 persons have been released. It is made clear that if any person is still under illegal detention of the local police, he/she be released forthwith," the bench added.
Yadav was detained along with 82 volunteers of his Swaraj Abhiyan during a protest on farmers' issue at Jantar Mantar late on Monday night.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is also a leader of the Swaraj Abhiyan, said appropriate action be taken against the person involved in this illegal detention.
Yadav, AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar and others were booked under sections 107 (action where breach of the peace or disturbance is apprehended) and 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) as they were planning to take out a rally without permission in the high security Delhi Race Course area.
The outfit had organised a 'tractor rally' on Monday over farmers' issues which culminated in a day-long protest at Jantar Mantar and was attended by farmers from many states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Swaraj Abhiyan, formed by the two expelled AAP leaders Yadav and Bhushan, had undertaken Jai Kisan Andolan, an agitation against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the Centre.