Trouble for AAP: Criminal cases against 21 MLAs including Kejriwal
Twenty-one Aam Aadmi Party MLAs have criminal cases registered against them, police said on Wednesday, signalling more trouble for the young political party built on the promise of probity in public life.delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2015 00:19 IST
More AAP MLAs and ministers, including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, will be facing chargesheets in the coming months as the Delhi Police are moving ahead with its investigation into 48 cases registered against 21 party legislators.
The party is engaged in a turf war with Delhi Police over the jurisdiction of Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch and its powers to prosecute police officers accused of graft.
The police are already investigating serious charges of forgery against former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar.
Sources said chargesheets will be filed by the end of the month in some of the cases, including those against Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Delhi assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel. In some of the cases, sources said, chargesheets are ready and will be submitted to the courts as early as possible.
Two MLAs facing serious charges, including those of molestation, cheating and forgery could be placed under arrest, sources said refusing to identify the two lawmakers.
Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi on Wednesday rejected the grapevine surrounding the issue, which was making headlines on news channels and online news sources throughout the day.
“I don’t know from where you got this information. I do not have any such counting (of MLAs and cases),” Bassi told mediapersons.
“If any cases are pending, our objective is to complete the investigation as fast as possible. Then the facts will be put before the court... it could be a chargesheet or a cancellation report,” Bassi said, scotching rumours of a witch-hunt.
As per a case status report of the police accessed by HT, three cases are pending against the CM. Of the total 48 cases, 20 are pending trial while probe is on in 24 cases. In one case, a compromise has been reached while in two others had “untraced” as status. Some of the cases date back to 1995, when many of those under probe were not even in politics.
Among those having serious charges against them are Kondli MLA Manoj Kumar (molestation, cheating and forgery) and Ram Niwas Goel who has been accused of beating up workers employed by a builder after forcibly entering his building.
Reacting to the report, the AAP said it was a tactic to divert attention from the Lalit Modi-Sushma Swaraj scandal. “To divert attention from Sushma, story of 21 AAP MLAs to be arrested, is planted by MODI GOVT…My name is missing in the list of people to be arrested by Delhi police. Many cases against me also. Feeling left out and unimportant,” tweeted party leader Ashutosh.