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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

For obstructing poll process, AAP MLA Manoj Kumar gets 3-month jail

The court, however, granted him a bail of 30 days, upon furnishing a surety bond of ₹10,000 after Manoj Kumar said that he wanted to appeal against the conviction.

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2019 05:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The case dates back to December 4, 2013, when Kumar was an AAP candidate from Kondli  and  was accused of raising slogans with his 50-60 supporters outside the polling booth.
The case dates back to December 4, 2013, when Kumar was an AAP candidate from Kondli and was accused of raising slogans with his 50-60 supporters outside the polling booth. (HTFile)
         

A Delhi court sentenced Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Manoj Kumar to three months’ rigorous imprisonment for obstructing a public servant in discharge of duty and disorderly conduct during the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections.

The court, however, granted him a bail of 30 days, upon furnishing a surety bond of ₹10,000 after Manoj Kumar said that he wanted to appeal against the conviction.

Coming down on Kumar, the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal, said, “The convict was himself contesting the elections and therefore is expected to know the laws which govern the election process in the country.”

The court observed that “our country is a democratic republic and the democracy is the essence of the country.”

It further said, “offences relating to elections are a direct assault on the peaceful conduct of such elections and therefore needs to be sternly dealt with.”

The case dates back to December 4, 2013, when Kumar was an AAP candidate from Kondli and was accused of raising slogans with his 50-60 supporters outside the polling booth. He was also accused of closing the main gate of the school and obstructing the polling process.

The EVMs had to be taken out from the side gate, the police submitted before the court. Kumar was later elected as an MLA from Kondli both in 2013 and 2015.

The court, while sentencing the AAP legislator, said that it was not compelled to award him a lighter sentence considering that he interfered with the polling process, “a conduct which is not only illegal but also undemocratic.”

“The conduct of the public representatives or those who aspires to be public representatives shall (should) be above board and unquestionable,” noted the judge. Observing that the ordinary people have the tendency to emulate their leaders, judge Vishal said, “Therefore it is imperative that the conduct of those who lead the society and make laws for them should be an ideal on the scale of constitutional morals.”

The court said that the disorderly conduct and even shouting outside polling station is a punishable offence under Representation of People Act and therefore despite the fact that the election process was complete, Kumar’s act needs to be punished with sincerity.

Despite several attempts, AAP spokespersons did not respond to request for comment