Maliwal assault case: Delhi court remands Bibhav Kumar to 5-day police custody | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Maliwal assault case: Delhi court remands Bibhav Kumar to 5-day police custody

ByDepankar Malviya
May 19, 2024 03:45 PM IST

BhiKumar, personal assistant and a close aide of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was taken into custody by the Delhi police on the afternoon of May 18

New Delhi: A Delhi court after a late-night hearing on May 18 sent Bibhav Kumar to five days in police custody in connection with the assault on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP and former Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal. 

Bibhav Kumar, close aide of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested by the Delhi police on Saturday (Twitter/video screengrab)
Bibhav Kumar, close aide of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested by the Delhi police on Saturday (Twitter/video screengrab)

“I find there is the necessity of police custody remand in this case. Accordingly, the application moved by the IO [investigative officer] is partly allowed and the accused is remanded to police custody remand for a period of five days”, metropolitan magistrate Gaurav Goyal said while directing the Delhi police to produce him before the court on May 24.

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Maliwal had on Thursday filed a first information report (FIR) where she alleged that Kumar slapped her seven to eight times without any provocation, pounced on her, kicked her chest and pelvis, and deliberately pulled up her shirt at the chief minister’s residence when she went to meet Kejriwal earlier this week.

Following the complaint, Kumar, personal assistant and a close aide of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was taken into custody by the Delhi police on the afternoon of May 18, however, he was formally arrested in the evening while the court was hearing the arguments on his anticipatory bail.

He was produced before the court at 9.15pm, where the police sought seven days of custody. The Delhi police submitted before the court that the case “is of a grave nature where a Member of Parliament, who is a woman, has been brutally assaulted”.

It was further submitted by the additional public prosecutor that the DVR containing the incident had not been provided and the CCTV footage provided to the Delhi police, when checked, was found to be blank at the relevant time. The Delhi police in the court also claimed that the mobile phone produced by Kumar was also found to be formatted, and he is also unwilling to share the password of his mobile phone.

The police also told the court that he had to be taken to Mumbai to ascertain facts regarding formatting the phone and to retrieve the deleted data, as Kumar disclosed that he formatted his phone in Mumbai.

Also Read: Swati Maliwal sustained injuries to face,leg: Report

It was further submitted that he has to be also interrogated to find out the reason for the alleged assault.

Opposing the remand application, the counsels for Kumar submitted that the complaint (by Maliwal) was lodged with a substantial delay of three days, and despite having an allegation of being brutally assaulted, Maliwal had not opted to lodge the FIR immediately or get herself medically examined at the earliest. Despite going to the police station after the alleged incident took place, no complaint was registered, rather it was done three days later after deliberations and concoctions.

The counsels further argued that Kumar has a fundamental right to not disclose the password to his mobile phone and as such cannot be remanded to police custody for this purpose. 

Arguing against police remand, the counsels further averred that Kumar’s arrest was not justified as he was arrested by the Delhi police while the arguments on his anticipatory bail application were going on.

The court after hearing the submissions observed that the case is at a nascent stage, and the allegations made in the FIR by Maliwal are further corroborated by the medico-legal certificate and her statements recorded by the court under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It also noted that the accused has to be taken to Mumbai, which will not be possible without police custody remand.

“The fact not finding of the video footage in the pen drive provided by the JE to the IO during the course of the investigation and getting the formatting of the mobile phone by the accused speaks in volumes”, the court said in the order.

According to the FIR, Kumar has been charged under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code related to attempted culpable homicide, assault on women, criminal intimidation, and insulting modesty.

On May 17, Kumar also lodged a complaint through an email accusing Maliwal of unauthorised entry, verbal abuse and threats while also claiming the Bharatiya Janata Party’s involvement in the matter.

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