Chief secy attack: AAP wants police restrained from leaking chargesheet to media
A lawyer, who is part of the chief minister’s legal team, moved an application in a city court urging it to restrain police from leaking contents of the chargesheet filed in the case of alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash.
Delhi Police on Monday, in a 3,000-page chargesheet, booked chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy CM Manish Sisodia and 11 other Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for hatching a conspiracy and assaulting Prakash at the CM’s residence, six months ago.
A chargesheet is a report detailing the evidence and list of witnesses, on the basis of which a court starts trial against an accused person.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal received the chief minister’s plea and sought a response from Delhi police on or before August 25 — the day when court is likely to take cognisance of charges against the AAP leaders.
In the application filed by advocate Mohd Irshad, police have been accused of selectively leaking the excerpts of the chargesheet to the media to “assassinate the character of the persons allegedly mentioned in the chargesheet”.
According to the plea, the matter is subjudice and that the court is yet to take cognisance of the charges. The plea said that if police is not restrained from making such “uncalled for, unwarranted and biased comments”, it would cause ‘irreparable loss to their image and the proceeding in the case would also be affected.”
AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj later also took to Twitter accusing the police of trying to tarnish the image of the chief minister. Though Bharadwaj did not share any evidence, he directed a tweet to the police commissioner in which he accused a deputy commissioner rank officer of leaking the contents of the chargesheet.
Advocate Irshad said that on Tuesday, an officer had given statements to the media claiming that two persons had been made as main witnesses in the case. “How can they reveal it to the media even before the court accepts the chargesheeet? This is illegal as the matter is subjudice,” said Irshad
Senior Delhi police officers denied the allegations and said that no officer had shared the chargesheet or held a press briefing.
Police have charged the 13 AAP leaders under Indian Penal Code sections for criminal conspiracy, illegal confinement, and causing hurt and assault, and 10 other offences. Causing hurt to deter a public servant (Section 332), the most serious of the charges levelled, carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail, or a fine, or both.
On February 20 this year, Delhi police had registered a first information report (FIR) against AAP MLA ‘Amanatullah Khan and others after Prakash filed a complaint alleging that he was called to the chief minister’s residence for a meetingand then assaulted by the party legislators in front Kejriwal.
(With PTI inputs)