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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Court convicts AAP legislator Som Dutt in 2015 assault case

Som Dutt was convicted under section 325 of the Indian Penal Code, in which the term of imprisonment extends up to seven years. The court has listed the matter for July 4 to hear arguments on the quantum of sentence.

cities Updated: Jun 30, 2019 14:48 IST
Namita Singh
Namita Singh
Delhi court convicted an MLA of the Aam Aadmi Party, Som Dutt for causing grievous hurt to a man without provocation.  (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Delhi court convicted an MLA of the Aam Aadmi Party, Som Dutt for causing grievous hurt to a man without provocation. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
         

A Delhi court on Saturday convicted an MLA of the Aam Aadmi Party, Som Dutt for causing grievous hurt to a man without provocation. The case dates back to January 2015 when the complainant Sanjeev Rana, was allegedly assaulted by Som Dutt, who was an ex-MLA at the time.

Som Dutt was convicted under section 325 of the Indian Penal Code, in which the term of imprisonment extends up to seven years. The court has listed the matter for July 4 to hear arguments on the quantum of sentence.

Following the court judgment, Dutt said that he will comment on the matter after the court decides on the sentence.

In his complaint, Rana had told the police that when he was at his flat in Gulabi Bagh, his doorbell was repeatedly rung. When he answered the door, he saw that Dutt was present at his door along with 50-60 persons.

As per the case files, when Rana objected to the repeated ringing of the bell, Dutt started assaulting him and “hit him from a baseball bat on his leg”. Rana further submitted that “the persons accompanying the accused (Dutt) dragged the complainant on the road outside and thrashed him with fists and kicks” and that he fell unconscious soon after. Rana’s brother called the police and PCR van took him to Hindu Rao Hospital where he was treated.

At the stage of trial, Dutt, who is currently an MLA from Delhi’s Sadar Bazar, claimed innocence saying that he was “falsely implicated in this case due to political reasons” and that Rana “who is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to cut his ticket for Assembly elections”.

Rana, however, clarified that he was not associated with any political party.

There was one eye witness in the case, Sunil who said that he saw Som Dutt holding a base ball bat in his hand and beating Rana on his legs.

The court found Rana’s statement to be generally reliable and observed that “it is unlikely that he will spare the actual assailant in order to falsely implicate someone else”.

“The complainant (Rana) is also the victim of the offence and his testimony attaches great value. There is an inherent consistency in the evidence of the complainant,” noted additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal. He further observed that the defence has not produced any material explaining why Rana would falsely implicate Dutt.

The court noted that the police has proved that Rana’s medical reports corroborate the assault on him. On the non-recovery of baseball bat as the weapon of offence, the court observed that it is not a ground to acquit the accused. It further observed, “the accused (Dutt) was not arrested during investigation and therefore there was no sincere efforts on behalf of the police to recover the bat.”

This is the second conviction of a sitting AAP MLA in a week. Earlier this week, the court awarded three months sentence to Manoj Kumar, AAP legislator from Kondli, for obstructing poll process.

First Published: Jun 30, 2019 03:29 IST

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