SC notice to Delhi police on plea by AAP MLA to drop ‘bad character’ tag | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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SC notice to Delhi police on plea by AAP MLA to drop ‘bad character’ tag

ByAbraham Thomas
Jul 03, 2023 05:11 PM IST

AAP legislator Amanatullah Khan was at the forefront of protests against the south civic body’s anti-encroachment and demolition drive

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response of the Delhi Police on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Amanatullah Khan to drop the tag of ‘bad character’ on account of the pending criminal cases against him.

AAP legislator Amanatullah Khan said the proposal to notify him as a bad character listed 18 cases against him including 14 in which he was either acquitted or discharged or the case stood compounded (Twitter/KhanAmanatullah)
AAP legislator Amanatullah Khan said the proposal to notify him as a bad character listed 18 cases against him including 14 in which he was either acquitted or discharged or the case stood compounded (Twitter/KhanAmanatullah)

The Okhla legislator approached the top court against the city police in March 2022 declaring him as a “bad character”, arguing that the description defamed him and compromised his family’s privacy as the dossier prepared by the police contained names of his wife and minor children was leaked on social media.

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Khan’s petition is an appeal against the Delhi high court verdict dismissing his petition on January 19. On Monday, a bench of justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Dutta issued notice to the police.

The legislator questioned the police move to label him as a bad character, a police parlance for persons with a criminal record and opening a ”history sheet” in his name at the Jamia Nagar police station, which is a confidential file listing a person’s criminal antecedents and known accomplices.

According to polie records, the Jamia Nagar police on March 28, 2022, wrote to the south-east district’s deputy commissioner of police to seek permission to open a history sheet in the MLA’s name, and approval was granted on March 30.

Papers attached with the SHO’s request showed that there were 18 cases registered against Khan as on March 28, 2022, but in 14 cases, Khan was either acquitted or discharged or the case stood compounded. In four cases alone, trial was pending. Khan stressed that he has not been convicted in a single case.

In the Supreme Court, senior lawyer Sanjoy Ghose assisted by Wajeeh Shafiq who appeared for Khan, raised questions on the ‘bad character’ label and the manner in which confidentiality was breached by the police by allowing it to be leaked. “The petitioner is a sitting MLA and is being tagged as a history sheeter and bad character,” Ghose said.

The petition underlined that Khan, as an elected representative and a mass leader, stands up for the cause of downtrodden and that there have been incidents “when the petitioner and the Delhi Police have had run-ins”.

In May last year, Khan was charged of creating an unlawful assembly and making statements to provoke riots while protesting against the demolition of houses and shops by the south Delhi municipal corporation (SDMC) in his constituency. According to Khan, the bad character label was an attempt to “sabotage” hearing of his bail application in the case before the trial court.

The high court found no fault in the police decision to label Khan as “bad character” based on the cases mentioned in the dossier. However, he was granted liberty to move a representation to the authorities concerned to delete his name from the surveillance register.

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