Ex-chief of staff assault: Kejriwal and Sisodia get clean chits from the court

Earlier on Wednesday, a Delhi court upheld the clean chit given to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, and nine Aam Aadmi Party legislators in a case involving an alleged assault on former chief secretary Anshu Prakash during a midnight meeting in 2018.

A city court exonerated Kejriwal, Sisodia, and nine AAP MLAs in the alleged assault on Prakash on August 11, saying that there was no “criminal conspiracy” or “unlawful assembly”.

Taking note of the statement of the CM’s former adviser VK Jain, the judge framed charges against Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal for obstructing a public servant on duty, assaulting him, and voluntarily causing harm to Prakash.

Prakash argued that the trial court’s inquiry was insufficient and drew erroneous conclusions without examination of prosecution witnesses.

Judge Geetanjali Goel gave judgment on Prakash’s revision appeal, saying there are “no defects, illegalities, perversities, or impropriety” in the magistrate’s order, and that it has been based on the material on record, including testimony from witnesses.

In a 326-page judgment, the court said that the petitioner (Prakash) has not shown any grounds for interfering with the order of the trial court or for directing framing of charges against A-3 to A-13 for any offence or against A-1 (Amanatullah Khan) and A-2 (Prakash Jarwal) for offences under Sections 342 /506(ii)/120-B/109/114 IPC.

The court noted that apart from the fact that there is nothing to show that the assembly was unlawful it was “evident that Kejriwal had restrained Khan and Jarwal from doing what they were doing and as such there is nothing which would make the conduct of the CM, his deputy, or other AAP MLAs inculpatory in any respect”.

The judge said that there must be intentional provision of aid and active complicity to constitute abetment and that in this case, there was nothing to show abetment either by instigation or by provision of aid, where the CM, his deputy or the nine AAP MLAs were concerned.

In his complaint to the police in February, 2018, Prakash alleged that Kejriwal, Sisodia and 11 AAP MLAs assaulted him in a midnight meeting called by the CM’s advisor, VK Jain to discuss release of the party’s advertisements related to the government completing three years in Delhi.

After the court’s judgment, senior advocate N Hariharan, appearing for the CM, said that the trial court’s ruling stands vindicated.

Kejriwal, Sisodia and 11 AAP legislators, including Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Rajesh Rishi, Nitin Tyagi, Praveen Kumar, Sanjeev Jha, Rituraj Govind, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal and Dinesh Mohania, were charged in August 2018 with crimes including criminal conspiracy, assaulting a public servant, threatening to cause death or grievous injury, and

Special judge Goel rejected the contentions of the ex-CS, stating that even though the petitioner claimed the MLAs threatened his life, “only omnibus allegations had been made.”.

The petitioner had identified the MLAs who allegedly made threats against him about confining him in a room for the night and about lodging false SC/ST cases against him, but he had not mentioned any MLA who made a threat to his life, nor even stated what words they used, the judge said, denying the framing charges for criminal intimidation (506) Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Moreover, the judge said there was nothing to show that Prakash had been intentionally insulted, and that abusive language by itself cannot be construed as intentional insult, absent specific words. It is valid for the Counsel for Tyagi to argue that the use of abusive and unparliamentary language per se is not a criminal offense under the IPC, the judge said.

Stories about legal developments in Delhi and reports from the Delhi High Court. When not working, I like to hike, cook, and watch birds…view detail