Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Manish Sisodia along with 11 other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs accused in manhandling and assaulting Chief Secretary Mr Anshu Prakash on February 19, 2018. Police have submitted a 1300 page charge-sheet based on the interrogation of many accused MLAs and CM Arvind Kejriwal.
The other involved AAP MLAs charged for assault on a civil servant are Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohania. The Delhi police interrogated all of the 11 MLAs in order to get the truth out.
These legislators are booked under twelve different penal code violations, as reported by Times of India.
Reportedly, the incident happened on February 19. Delhi Chief Secretary (CS) Anshu Prakash alleges that he received a call from the former Advisor to the Delhi CM, V K Jain in the evening. Jain convened him for a late night meeting at CM’s official bungalow at Flagstaff Road.
Agenda for the meeting was not declared publicly.
However, according to the statement given by CS, he was summoned to discuss the airing of advertisements, which showcased AAP’s three years of tenure.
“On 19.2.2018, I was informed on telephone around 8.45 pm by Advisor to Chief Minister V K Jain that I have to reach CM’s Residence at 12.00 midnight to discuss with Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister the issue of difficulty in release of certain TV Advertisement relating to completion of three years of current Government in Delhi,” Anshu Prakash said, as reported by India Today.
Allegedly, during the meeting, the AAP party leaders were completely dissatisfied with the Chief Secretary (CS) for procrastinating on the release of advertisements. In defence, CS argued that the TV advertisements were notwithstanding the guidelines approved by the Supreme Court.
This contradiction between AAP and the Chief Secretary culminated in the altercation, and eventually, the meeting turned violent. Allegedly, two MLAs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, assaulted the CS in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The medical reports showed that Anshu Prakash had wounds on his cheeks and lips. Reportedly, he also had swelling behind the ears due to the assault.
Coming out in defence of the allegations, AAP MLA Ajay Dutt accused the CS of belittling him and Prakash Jarwal with derogatory casteist remarks. He claimed that the meeting was organised to discuss the release of ration to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
However, there was an absence of the officials from the Public Distribution System (PDS) and Ration Distribution. This fact brought an end to the accusations put by Ajay Dutt.
After the police complaint was filed by the CS, MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal were arrested by Delhi Police. The police also retrieved a hard disk containing the CCTV footage from CM’s house which was 40 to 42 minutes behind the real time.
Delhi Police interrogated the former Advisor to the Delhi CM and retired IAS officer V K Jain on February 21, 2018, about the assault case. V K Jain’s comments were pivotal in understanding the whole case. He has backed the claims that Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal had attacked Anshu Prakash. Both the MLAs were arrested and charged for attacking and bullying a civil servant but were later released on bail. Jain renounced his position as an advisor to the CM three weeks after the incident. On May 18, 2018, a six-member police team enquired CM Kejriwal for this assault case.
As reported by Hindustan Times, Police said that CM Kejriwal was cooperative but avoided answering many questions. “Some of his replies were not satisfactory,” Harendra Singh, additional deputy commissioner of police (north), who was among those who interacted with the CM, has said.
On May 22, Kejriwal pleaded the court for his recorded statement and videos during the process of interrogation. This plea triggered the Additional metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal into issuing a notice to the Delhi police to reply and be present in the next hearing of the case, which was May 29.
In his plea, Kejriwal stated that the claims of Delhi police that the CM has avoided some of the questions by giving useless narratives were totally false. The plea also said that the Delhi Police is going out of their way just to sketch out a conspiracy against him. However, police denied sharing the video as the CM is not entitled to it as per the law. Delhi Police had also questioned the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on the assault case matter on May 22.
In June, when the court issued a notice to the MLAs in the case of assault on the chief secretary, MLA Jarwal retaliated with an application for a court-monitored inquiry. He stated that the ongoing investigation was very unfair towards the accused and he claimed that additional DCP Harinder Singh was working on the orders of Anshu Prakash and the Lt. Governor of Delhi.
This event increased the tension between the Delhi Government and bureaucrats. Bureaucrats demanded assurance of safety and declined to attend meetings called by ministers. Prakash with officials also marched to protest the assault on February 28, 2018. To oppose the allegations, Kejriwal had asked Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to involve himself in the case. The CM held a sit-in protest with his three ministers in front of LG’s office.
On June 19, 2018, CM ended his nine days dharna after the intervention of Indian Administrative Service officers. They confirmed to the CM that the members would attend the meeting and asked the CM to ensure the safety of the members.
In response to the accusations, the Delhi government had denied these allegations and stated the whole thing as ‘ludicrous’. Despite claiming that the charges are wrong, the Delhi Government tried to remove Anshu Prakash with immediate effect for hindering the installation of 14 lakh CCTV cameras in the city, as reported by The Indian Express
AAP MLA Alka Lamba proceeded with the argument in the House that the chief secretary is influenced by the central ruling party to delay the projects of the government to make the government look inefficient. In answer to this resolution, another bureaucrat said that chief secretary is appointed by Government of India and cannot be stripped of the post by the State government.
After interrogative sessions, Delhi Police finally filed a charge sheet against 11 MLAs along with CM and Deputy CM before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, which will be considered by the court on August 25, 2018.
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