A Delhi court today fixed January 25 for hearing five cases including three in which chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and members of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were chargesheeted for alleged unlawful assembly and other offences during their protest in 2012.
Kejriwal is chargesheeted for allegedly violating prohibitory orders during the protest and leading a march to the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the coal blocks allocation scam.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja fixed the cases for January 25 and directed both the Delhi Police and the accused persons including Kejriwal's ministerial colleague Manish Sisodia to examine the evidences filed along with the charge sheets.
"Both the sides have been directed to examine the evidence collected by the state (police) and identify instances of individual acts of the accused persons resulting in criminal offences," the court said. It also allowed the pleas of Kejriwal, Sisodia and various other accused for exemption from personal appearance before it for today.
The court was hearing five separate cases lodged in 2012 against various members and top leaders of AAP in connection with the protests staged by them. They were charge sheeted for various offences relating to rioting, unlawful assembly, use of force to obstruct public servants from discharging their duty and damaging public property during their protests in August 2012.
During the hearing today, advocate Rahul Mehra, who appeared for the accused, argued that the statements of witnesses which have been filed along with charge sheets were "concocted" and the police have concealed the videos which exonerates most of the accused persons.
Kejriwal and his supporters, who were protesting at Jantar Mantar on August 26, 2012, had allegedly violated prohibitory orders by marching towards the residences of the Prime Minister, the UPA Chairperson and then BJP President Nitin Gadkari. Separate FIRs were registered against several accused for various offences including rioting and unlawful assembly during their protests.
Out of the five cases, Kejriwal is named as accused in three cases. The accused persons had earlier filed an application for discharge, saying it was illegal, "clear abuse of process by police" and it was "designed to harass them".