13 AAP MLAs booked in two years, Delhi Police face court rap over arrests
The Delhi Police arrested 13 MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the last two years on charges ranging from rape, extortion, cheating, forgery to rioting.
For most of these offences bail is hard to come by, but all the 13 lawmakers are out on bail. In fact, two have been cleared of all charges.
Barring Sandeep Kumar, who is accused of rape, and Jitender Tomar, who faces charges of forging his college and law degrees, all others got bail in their first or second court appearance. They got bail after spending a few weeks in jail.
An HT investigation into the court papers of the cases against the 13 MLAs shows that the police are struggling to explain the charges in most cases, earning courts’ ire for shoddy investigation.
Take the case of Narela MLA Sharad Chauhan, accused of abetting suicide of a woman AAP volunteer. “It is noteworthy that the name of applicant (Chauhan) is nowhere stated by the deceased in her last statement,” the court said, giving bail to Chauhan.
It was also critical of police for misinterpreting the words “AML” — mentioned in one of the text messages sent by woman — to mean the MLA.
Police faced a tough time in the case of Matiala MLA Gulab Singh as well. He was arrested on October 16 on charges of extortion from Gujarat on a day he was to address a rally in the western state.
He was immediately given bail. The court pulled up police for waiting to arrest him on the day he was to speak at a rally and for rushing to Gujarat for reasons “best known to them”.
Police were “trying to spin beans beyond the basket”, the court said.
AAP has often accused the Delhi Police, which reports to the union home ministry, of harassment and acting at the behest of the Modi government, a charge denied by the force.
It described the arrests as “political conspiracy” to destabilise the Kejriwal government.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal repeated the accusations last week after the CBI opened a probe against deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and health minister Satyendar Jain’s daughter on corruption charges.
Granting bail to Akhilesh Tripathi in a case if sexual harassment and molestation, the court said the complainant’s statement was self-contradictory and cross-examination had discredited her testimony.
Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey said instead of focusing on the law and order, the Delhi Police were busy targeting AAP MLAs.
“The NDA government has not been able to accept the defeat in Delhi elections. Because of its ego and political frustration, it is not letting the Delhi government work,” Pandey said.
Delhi Police officers were not willing to come on record. “There should not be an iota of doubt against the police. The complainants in the case are not police. Whenever any cases comes to us, we examine it legally and process as per established procedure,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested a sub-fire officer for accepting a bribe of ₹30,000 for issuing a fire no-objection certificate to the owner of a showroom in Sector 36. The accused, identified as Surjeet Singh, is the officiating fire officer of the fire stations in Sectors 11 and 38. He was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and will be produced before a court on Friday.
Chandigarh has outperformed all Union territories (UTs) in the National Achievement Survey 2021, organised by the Union ministry of education, whose results were made available on Thursday. Chandigarh's scores for all subjects surveyed are also higher than the national average. However, compared to NAS 2017, the scores for all subjects were slightly lower in the latest edition of the survey. As per the ministry, NAS is a nationally representative large-scale survey of students' learning.
The UT administration on Thursday extended the last date for depositing the property tax with rebate from May 31 to July 31. MC will offer 20% rebate to residential property tax payers and 10% to commercial entities if tax for the 2022-23 fiscal is deposited before July 31. Thereafter, the civic body will impose a penalty of 25%, along with 12% interest, on the tax dues, sans rebate.
“Several people in the past have said that behind the Tipu Sultan summer palace, it was all Kote Venkataramana Temple and this was illegally encroached by him (Sultan). There used to be a Sanskrit school here as well. This Hindu temple was illegally encroached and a survey must be carried out,” Mohan Gowda, the spokesperson for the outfit said in a video message.
A Sarabha Nagar man has been booked for allegedly pouring hot oil on Ajaypal's wife. The accused has been identified as Ajaypal Singh. The complainant, Simranpreet Kaur, 31, of Vikas Nagar, Pakhowal Road, said that she had married Ajaypal four years ago and they have a three-year-old daughter. The woman had lodged a complaint on the women's helpline (1091) on May 24 and was thereafter admitted to hospital. She has suffered minor burn injuries.