Claim That Offence Would Be Repeated Because Of A Tweet Is Farfetched: Delhi HC Grants Bail To 8 Accused Of Vandalising CM's House
The Delhi High Court has granted bail to eight people who were arrested in a case related to the protest and the vandalism outside the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in March.
The Court noted that the accused have been in custody for 14 days and the evidence collected, so far, is of such nature that they cannot tamper with it.
Senior Advocates Maninder Singh, Kirti Uppal, Ajay Burman, Sonia Mathur, Amit Sharma and Sunil Dalal and Advocate Ajay Digpaul appeared for the accused, while Sanjay Lao, Standing Counsel (Criminal), appeared for the state.
"Others who had been identified in photos have been issued notices under Section 41A (of the) CrPC and are also participating in the investigations. Thus, the continued custody of the applicants (accused) in jail is not called for only because some investigations are still going on", Justice Asha Menon said in the order passed on Tuesday.
The eight arrested people had approached the High Court for relief after their bail pleas were dismissed by the trial court. They were arrested on March 31.
On March 30, protestors, led by BJP Yuva Morcha national president and MP Tejasvi Surya, were holding a demonstration against Kejriwal's remarks on the controversial movie 'The Kashmir Files', which is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley after the outbreak of militancy.
The Chief Minister's residence is located at 6, Flag Staff Road. The protest started around 11.30 am on March 30. The Delhi Police had said proper arrangements were put in place but some 15-20 protestors managed to reach the Flag Staff Road. They were immediately removed, police had said.
Some of the protesters, around 1 pm, breached two barricades and reached outside CM House where they created a ruckus and shouted slogans, police had said.
The Court held that Section 41(1)(a) of Cr.P.C. was not been applied by the police and that unless the conditions prescribed in Section 41(1)(b) of Cr.P.C. were stated to exist, the police had no choice but to have issued notices under Section 41A of Cr.P.C. before arresting the accused.
The Delhi police had not issued notices under Section 41A of Cr.P.C. and instead had arrested the accused from their houses in the night between 9 pm and 9.30 pm.
The Delhi police had also argued that there was fear of repeating of the offence because of a tweet of a Member of Parliament of the Bhartiya Janta Party who apparently threatened not to spare the Chief Minister of Delhi till he apologised for the comments made by him in the Floor of the House.
While holding that Section 41(1)(b) of Cr.P.C will not apply the Court held that, "It is indeed farfetched to claim that a repeat offence would occur because of a tweet. Therefore, there is no material on which any Police Officer could be satisfied that the applicants were required to be prevented from committing any further offence."
With PTI inputs