Friday, January 27, 2023

Attack on Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence: Delhi HC asks Delhi Police to share report with Delhi CM’s secretariat

BJP workers had launched an attack on the official residence of the Delhi CM during a protest on March 30 this year. AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj is the petitioner in this case.

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The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Delhi Police to share the status report on the investigation into the alleged attack and vandalization at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence with the CM’s Secretariat.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta is seized of a plea filed by a member of the Aam Aadmi Party in the capital seeking an SIT probe into the vandalism at the official residence of the CM on March 30.

During the hearing today, the Delhi Police handed over to the Court its status report in a sealed cover disclosing the steps taken to beef up security arrangements outside CM’s residence, including the decision to curtail protests near the Civil Lines Metro Station.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rahul Mehra, appearing on behalf of AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, the petitioner, urged the Bench that a copy of the status report be shared with the petitioner. However, the Bench was disinclined for the same on the ground that the issue involved is a sensitive one, which ought not to be disclosed to the public.

The next hearing is slated on July 21, 2022.

The instant plea has been filed through Advocate Bharat Gupta on behalf of AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj. The plea sought constitution of a Special Investigation Team to undertake an independent criminal investigation in the alleged incident. In addition, it sought for ensuring the security of the Delhi CM’s person and residence in future.

It is alleged that several BJP activists on March 30 this year, launched an attack on the official residence of Delhi CM in the garb of a protest, stating that in the name of protest, violence cannot and ought not to be permitted and condoned.

The plea averred that the Delhi Police, which is charged with protection of the Delhi CM, completely abdicated its duty, without any regard for the fact that they were protecting an elected constitutional functionary and the fact that he was given Z+ security by Delhi Police itself.

It is further averred that the Delhi Police’s inaction was in blatant violation of the Court’s order dated August 22, 2017, wherein the Delhi Police was directed to ensure that no unnecessary protest takes place on the road in front of the Delhi CM’s house, as it is a residential area.

Highlighting that in December 2020 there was an attack on the residence of the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by BJP workers, whereby Delhi Police did not take any steps to stop the attackers, the plea stated that the attacks on elected officials are becoming a routine affair. If the perpetrators of the attack are not brought to justice and if responsibility is not fixed on the errant officers of the Delhi Police, then the public will lose confidence in the rule of law and will lose its faith in the ability of the police to protect it against political violence.

The Bench had earlier called for a Status Report from the Delhi Police Commissioner into the alleged incident, while noting that the aforesaid lapse is a “serious lapse” which should be enquired into.


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