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‘It has become a norm that people who file PILs circulate it in media’: Delhi HC on AAP’s petition over CM house protests, asks for status report in 2 weeks

It is notable here that Delhi Police had tweeted about the incident saying they had even used water cannons to disperse the crowd. They confirmed the crossing of temporary barricades and paint sprayed on the iron gate, but the AAP claims of CCTV cameras being damaged were not confirmed by the Police. AAP has been claiming that this was an attempt on CM's life.

The Delhi High Court was today hearing a petition filed by AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj seeking an SIT probe over the protests against Kejriwal’s comments against the Kashmiri Hindu community. During a protest by the BJP youth wing, temporary barricades before an iron gate near the CM’s residence were removed and colourful paint was spread on the gate by protestors. The AAP leaders have been calling it an “attack on the CM’s life”.

A division bench by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla heard the petition where Abhishek Manu Singhvi was representing Bharadwaj. He played the video of the incident. Singhvi argued that had it been any other functionary, ‘heads would have rolled’.

Singhvi blamed BJP MP Tejasvi Surya for the incident and added that he even enjoys a Z+ security. He stated that the ASG was even objecting to the notice. He added that a similar incident had also happened outside the residence of deputy CM Manish Sisodia in 2020.

“Just because he is the CM of Delhi, you cannot belittle his position and authority”, Sanghvi pleaded, adding that Delhi Police cannot be trusted to probe with objectivity.

ASG Sanjay Jain says FIR was lodged within 24 hours

ASG Sanjay Jain interjected that an FIR was lodged over the incident within 24 hours.

The Bench added that they have seen the video and it was indeed an unruly crowd that broke barricades and damaged cameras, though it did not seem like it was their intention to enter inside the gate. The Bench added that the police force was inadequate to handle the unruly crowd and the police will have to explain what was their arrangement for the protests.

screenshot via Bar and Bench

PIL has been filed as a publicity exercise: ASG

ASG Jain stated that the petitioner (Bharadwaj) is a political person and the PIL has been filed as a publicity exercise. “It was all over the press before it reached the court. It proceeds on a false presumption that FIR is not registered. Delhi Police had not given permission to hold the protest. This case is not different from any other case being investigated.”

ASG insisted that a court-monitored probe in the case will be inappropriate because it is the same as all other cases.

To this, the Bench replied that they are only seeking details, not monitoring. It added that it wants to be satisfied that the Delhi Police is taking the issue seriously.

It is notable here that Delhi Police had tweeted about the incident saying they had even used water cannons to disperse the crowd. They confirmed the crossing of temporary barricades and paint sprayed on the iron gate.

Tweets by Delhi Police

ASG Jain then added that the petitioner (Bharadwaj) is not even a complainant in the case and objected to a notice. The Bench also noted that “It has become the norm of the day that people who file petitions circulate it to the media.”

Tweet by Bar and Bench

In its order, the Bench said,” ASG submits that in light of the fact that FIR stands registered and R-1 has already taken action and proposes to take further steps, before issuing notice an opportunity be granted to submit status report in a sealed cover. Let the same be filed in two weeks.”

The Bench noted that 8 people have so far been arrested in the case and asked to preserve the CCTVs from the location and noted the DCP North’s statement that all evidence including CCTVs cameras around the CM residence and surrounding roads will be preserved.

The Bench then listed the case for further hearing on April 25.

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