A court in Delhi’s Patiala House Courts complex on Saturday rejected the Aam Aadmi Party’s plea to restrain the police from sharing information about the chief secretary assault case with the media, ANI reported. A few party legislators had allegedly assaulted Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal heard the petition filed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia. The two Aam Aadmi Party leaders sought a directive to stop the police from “leaking the contents of a chargesheet” that was filed earlier this month.
The AAP leaders accused the police of sharing information of a case that is still sub judice. They alleged that the “investigating agency is selectively leaking the excerpts of the charge sheet to the media malafidely, to assassinate the character of the persons mentioned in the chargesheet, especially Kejriwal and Sisodia”.
In the chargesheet, the Delhi Police named Kejriwal, Sisodia and 11 AAP MLAs. Kejriwal and Sisodia were booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).
Legislators Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohania are also named in the chargesheet, which several Delhi ministers criticised for being “based on imaginary and false allegations by frustrated elements”.
The AAP ministers had labelled the chargesheet a result of the Centre’s “ongoing witch-hunt against the Delhi government, that was elected with highest-ever mandate in India’s electoral history”.
The Delhi Police told court that AAP leaders used derogatory remarks about them. “They are maligning our image and also trying to influence court proceedings,” ANI quoted the police’s counsel as saying.
The AAP’s lawyers accused the police of trying to turn the case into a media trial.
Anshu Prakash has claimed that he was assaulted by Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan at Kejriwal’s residence on February 19. The police questioned the AAP legislators who were present, including Kejriwal and Sisodia. Kejriwal’s adviser, VK Jain, resigned a few weeks after the incident. The police also questioned Jain, who was a witness in the case.