Delhi speaker Ram Niwas Goel convicted in trespassing case, released on bail
According to an FIR registered on a complaint by a local builder, Manish Ghai, Ram Niwas Goel and his supporters had raided one of Ghai’s houses in Vivek Vihar on the night of February 6, 2015, a day before the Delhi Assembly elections.Updated: Oct 18, 2019 23:29 IST
A Delhi court on Friday sent Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, his son Sumit Goel and three others to six months imprisonment for trespassing a property in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar in 2015 and creating ruckus.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said the punishment needed to be “deterrent in this case” and sentenced them to six months jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on each of them.
The court further awarded one month for an additional offence of voluntarily causing hurt while imposing a fine of Rs 1,000.
Reacting to the order, Goel said, “I will continue with my duties as an MLA. There’s no restriction. Monday I will file an appeal in a session court. I am a law abiding citizen and I have nothing to fear”.
All the accused were released on a personal and surety bond of Rs 10,000 for enabling them to file their appeal against the convictions in the session court.
The court said Goel is a member of Legislative Assembly of Delhi and its speaker also. The judge said it means he is a public representative.
“Today he is 72 years of age but it is also true that when in 2015 he committed this offence, he must be around 68 years. If he can commit an offence at the age of 68, can he ask for leniency now citing his age? It is submitted that he entered the house as a whistle blower. I wonder whether whistle blowers have a right to raid and trespass into private houses,” the court said in the order copy.
According to an FIR registered on a complaint by a local builder, Manish Ghai, Goel and his supporters had raided one of Ghai’s houses in Vivek Vihar on the night of February 6, 2015, a day before the Delhi Assembly elections.
Goel had allegedly raided the house of Ghai, accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other things for distribution ahead of the polls, the FIR had said. A case of rioting, trespassing, causing mischief and voluntarily causing hurt was lodged.
The AAP leaders had refuted these claims, saying they had gone to the house with a police team comprising the local station house officer and assistant commissioner of police, among others, after making a PCR call.
Ghai alleged the group broke a cupboard, drawers, kitchen items, windowpanes and mirrors in the house. When the labourers tried to resist, they were allegedly physically assaulted.
On October 11, a Delhi court had found all the accused guilty and said, “To conclude, the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts...Accordingly, Ram Niwas Goel, Sumit Goyal, Hitesh Khanna, Atul Gupta and Balbir Singh are convicted for offence under section 448 (house-trespass) of the IPC....”