Delhi HC Directs That Report On Security Be Shared With CM Secretariat In Sealed Cover In Vandalism Case
The Delhi High Court today directed that a status report filed by the Delhi Police concerning the security arrangement at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, where an incident of vandalism occurred in March, be placed before the CM secretariat in a sealed cover.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta said as the status report relates to the security of the Chief Minister, it would not like to disclose complete details to the public and also declined to share it with the petitioner, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj.
The Bench said, It concerns the security arrangement at CM residence. In view of the aspects of his security, we are not inclined to share with the petitioner. However, we direct a copy of the status report be placed before the CM secretariat in a sealed cover.
The Bench also declined the request made by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain for redacting a certain portion of the report, relating to departmental inquiries against Delhi Police officers who were allegedly responsible for the lapse in security, before sharing it with the Chief Minister Secretariat.
The whole issue concerns lapses. Nobody can deny about lapses. There were lapses we have seen it ourselves. Therefore, the issue about disciplinary action should also be given. You will not redact anything. Give the entire report, the Bench said.
It also directed the Delhi Police to file a further status report giving details of the progress of its investigation into the FIR registered after the incident.
The Court was hearing a plea by Bhardwaj about the March 30 attack during a protest against Kejriwal's remarks on 'The Kashmir Files', a film on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.
Scores of protesters belonging to the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP, had allegedly breached the barricades to reach the entrance of the chief minister's residence and destroyed public property in the presence of police.
During the hearing, DCP (North) informed the court that eight persons were arrested in the case and remained in custody for 14 days, after which they were granted bail by the Court.
He also submitted that notices were issued to 20 more persons and the police will soon file a charge sheet in the case before the concerned Court.
In its latest status report placed before the court, the police gave details of steps taken to improve the security around the CM's residence here and also the action taken against police officials found responsible for the lapses.
The report stated that residents of the area have agreed to the installation of two gates on both sides of the road and that no assembly or protests will be allowed near the Civil Lines metro station.
Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rahul Mehra, appearing for the petitioner, urged the court to share the status report with them as they wanted to assist in the matter.
However, the Bench declined the request at this stage.
Mehra contended that the protest was led by a BJP leader and asked if the police has issued notice to him and whether any action has been taken against people exhorting the protestors.
The police had earlier informed the court that security outside Chief Minister's residence has been beefed up with the deployment of more armed guards.
Earlier, the high court had termed it a "very disturbing state of affairs" and voiced displeasure over the "failure" of police to prevent the incident of vandalism at the CM's and directed the city police commissioner to fix responsibility for the "serious lapse".
It had taken note of the earlier status report filed by the police on the incident which said certain miscreants breached the barricades and reached the gate of the residence.
This kind of incident happening at the residence of any constitutional functionary whether it is the CM, it could be a judge of the high court or Supreme Court, it could be any other Union Minister.. this is a very disturbing state of affairs that this kind of a thing could in the first place occur or such miscreants should succeed in their endeavour," the court had said.
Wondering how could the protesters breach three layers of barricades, the court had said, if it so happened, the police should look at its efficiency and functioning.
Bhardwaj, in his petition filed through advocate Bharat Gupta, has sought the constitution of an SIT to probe the attack and argued that the vandalisation of the official residence of the chief minister during a protest against his remarks on 'The Kashmir Files' appears to have been carried out with Delhi Police's tacit complicity.
On March 30, 2022, several BJP goons, in the garb of a protest, launched an attack on the official residence of the Delhi CM.
Videos and photographs show that these goons casually walked through the security cordon (maintained by Delhi Police), kicked and broke the boom barrier, broke the CCTVs cameras with lathis, threw paint on the gate of the residence, and almost climbed over the gate, while Delhi Police personnel simply looked on, doing little to stop the protestors, the plea alleged.
With PTI inputs