Anshu Prakash moves court, seeks early hearing in assault case
Former Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash on Friday moved the Delhi high court, seeking an early hearing in a case of alleged assault in which Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and 11 other MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been named as accused.
Prakash had alleged he was assaulted during a meeting at the chief minister’s residence on February 19, 2018.
The CM, the deputy CM, and the other AAP MLAs, have denied any wrongdoing, and the party’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj has accused Prakash of making false allegations at the behest of the Union government.
The high court will hear the matter on Monday.
In his plea, filed through advocate Stuti Gujral, Prakash has asked that the matter, which has been pending in the trial court in the arguments stage, be heard on the grounds that no substantive proceedings have happened in the last 18 months because of a pending petition in the high court.
In 2018, Kejriwal and Sisodia moved the high court, challenging a trial court order allowing Prakash to have the lawyers of his choice rather than a special public prosecutor.
On Friday, appearing for Prakash, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra told the court that there has been no progress in proceedings before the trial court for the last one-and-a-half years as a result of a March 14, 2019 order by the high court staying the proceedings until the lawyers’ issue was resolved.
Appearing for the CM and deputy CM, their counsel Mohammad Irshaad sought some time to get instructions from his clients, following which the matter was adjourned till Monday.
The AAP government refused to comment on the issue despite repeated attempts.
Delhi Police, on February 20, 2018, filed a first information report (FIR) based on Prakash’s complaint.
Prakash alleged he was called for a midnight meeting to discuss release of the party’s advertisements related to the government completing three years in Delhi, and manhandled and assaulted during the course of the meeting.
On August 13, 2018, police filed a 1,300-page charge sheet against 13 AAP leaders, including Kejriwal and Sisodia.