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Rouse Avenue court frames charges against AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal, his aides in connection with suicide of doctor

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The Rouse Avenue District Court of Delhi on Thursday framed charges against ruling Aam Aadmi Party MLA Prakash Jarwal, his aide Kapil Nagar, and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with the suicide of a doctor last year.

According to the FIR registered on the basis of the complaint dated April 18, 2020 of Hemant Singh, wherein he had stated that his father, late Rajender Singh, was doing the work of supplying water through tankers since 2005. The Delhi Jal Board had never harassed his father. However, since the accused Prakash Jarwal had won and become MLA of Aam Aadmi Party, he and one Kapil Nagar who worked with him and others started harassing his father for money regularly.

Accused Kapil Nagar, at the instance of the accused Prakash Jarwal, used to take a monthly amount and used to give to the Jarwal, who was a member of Delhi Jal Board and without taking the monthly amount, he would not allow the plying of their tankers with the DJB. It is stated in the FIR that if Rajender Singh did not pay the monthly amount to Jarwal, he used to himself threaten Rajender Singh and also threatened to destroy him.

It is stated that the father of the complainant had pleaded with Jarwal several times not to harass him as he was a heart patient but the accused did not listen and kept harassing his father continuously of which they also had a phone recording.  It is further stated that Jarwal used his power to get the payment of the deceased stopped. The father of the complainant had written about the mental harassment in his diary and he had mentioned the amount given to accused Prakash Jarwal in the diary which amount was taken forcibly.

It is alleged that due to the exploitation and pressure, the deceased used to remain troubled and used to write about the instances in his diary. It is also alleged that the father of the complainant had sold his ancestral land and taken loan on the jewellery of his wife for which they also had receipt and at the instance of accused Prakash Jarwal had given the money to Kapil Nagar. The deceased had many times told the complainant, his mother and uncles about the harassment.

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It is also stated that whenever the accused Prakash Jarwal, Kapil Nagar and others used to threaten to kill Rajender Singh and to destroy him, he would tell the same to the complainant and his mother but they used to make him understand and tried to boost his morale. They had harassed him so much that he could not tolerate it anymore and always used to remain troubled.

It is further stated that on April 18, 2020, at about 5.30 am, the deceased, due to harassment caused by Jarwal, Nagar and others had committed suicide and he had taken the said step due to the threats given by the said persons to kill him and to destroy him and due to their taking the monthly amount forcibly.

The FIR was registered under Sections 386/306/506/34 IPC. Subsequently, investigation was transferred to District Investigation Unit vide order dated 28.04.2020 from PS NebSarai. During investigation the complainant Hemant Singh had given a written complaint on 12.05.2020 regarding threats for dire consequences being extended by accused Prakash Jarwal. As per the postmortem report, the cause of death was suicide by hanging. The files of water tankers belonging to the deceased and his family were seized from the office of Delhi Jal Board. The mobile phone of the accused Prakash Jarwal was also seized.

After completion of investigation a charge sheet was filed against the accused Prakash Jarwal, Kapil Nagar and Harish Kumar Jarwal under Sections 306/386/506 IPC in the court of Ld. ACMM – I. After completion of proceedings under Section 207 Cr.P.C., matter was committed to the Court of Sessions and received in this court. Supplementary charge-sheet was filed to place on record the FSL Report dated 31.12.2020. Thereafter the second supplementary charge sheet was filed to place on record FSL report dated 12.04.2021 and a third supplementary charge sheet was filed to place on record the Forensic Voice Examination Report of CFSL dated 12.08.2021.

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Advocates Ravi Drall and Mohd Irshad, appearing for Harish Jarwal, had submitted that the entire complaint was made on the basis of observations made in the diary of the deceased and that the complainant himself was not a witness to the demand or extortion of money and it was stated that the deceased was pressurized to pay money to Jarwal and there was nothing to show that Prakash Jarwal himself had demanded money. It was also submitted that there was nothing to show any positive act on the part of the accused to instigate the deceased. The Counsels for the accused persons have disputed the ‘suicide note’ which was relied upon by the prosecution and also submitted that the diary written by the deceased did not contain any date or time.

Additional Sessions Judge Geetanjali Goel on perusal of the ‘suicide note’ observed that  that it was stated therein that the accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar had destroyed the deceased.

“The question whether the aforesaid note could be construed as a suicide note or not would be considered at the time of trial and suffice it to say at this stage that the deceased in the said note had specifically stated the names of the accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar and further that due to the threats and harassment by the said persons he was committing suicide.”

In the present case, while there are allegations of continuous harassment at the hands of accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar which prima facie created circumstances under which the deceased had no option but to commit suicide but as regards accused Harish, except the reference to his name at three places in the diary, the Court  seen that there is no reference of any specific act or incident whereby he had committed any wilful act or omission or harassed the deceased or extorted money from him. There are no instances or illustrations of instigation or aiding pointed out against the accused which would be covered under ‘abetment’ as interpreted in a catena of judgments. “As such the accused Harish is entitled to be discharged for the offence under Section 306 IPC while the offence under Section 306 read with Section 34 IPC is prima facie made out against the accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar,” the Court held.

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From the material on record, the Special Judge further observed  that the accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar had hatched conspiracy to extort the tanker owners and the deceased by threatening them to pay money if they wanted to ply their tankers with Delhi Jal Board and further demand was raised at the time of elections of Delhi Legislative Assembly in the year 2020 and they were frightened that if they did not pay the money as demanded, their tankers could not ply in Delhi Jal Board and would be discontinued and the said accused persons also threatened to kill the deceased and his family members. As such, the accused Prakash Jarwal and Kapil Nagar would be liable to be charged, prima facie for the offences under Section 120-B IPC read with Sections 384, 386 and 506 IPC. While it is the case of the prosecution that the accused Harish was acting at the instance of the accused Prakash, there is nothing specific on record to show that the accused Harish had entered into a conspiracy with the other accused persons.

The court ordered framing of charges under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 384 (extortion), and 506 (criminal intimidation), and 306 (abetment of suicide) under IPC and discharged co-accused Harish for the offence under Sections 306 and 386 IPC but ordered framing of charge for the offence of criminal intimidation.

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