A Delhi court Thursday sent to judicial custody for a day three youths accused of roughing up lawyer Prashant Bhushan in his Supreme Court chamber the day before. Outside the court complex, activists of the right-wing group Sri Ram Sene assaulted supporters of Anna Hazare, with whom Bhushan himself is associated.
The three accused youths’ bail applications would be heard Friday.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur sent Inder Verma, Vishnu Gupta and Tejender Pal Singh Bagga to judicial custody and said: “I remand the three accused in one-day judicial custody. The application of police for their custodial interrogation would be dealt with by the court concerned.”
Kaur refused to hear the police plea seeking the three accused in their custody for interrogation.
Bagga and Gupta were arrested from Bangla Sahib Gurudwara earlier in the day. Verma was caught at Bhushan’s chamber soon after the assault.
After the court gave its order to send the three to the Tihar Jail, around 50-60 of their supporters and Sene members present in the courtroom shouted slogans against Team Anna and headed towards Gate No.2 of the Patiala House courts complex near India Gate.
While shouting slogans, some protesters said, “We will go and protest near Prashant Bhushan`s house in Noida.”
While the Sri Ram Sene protesters were moving out of the courts complex, they came across slogan-shouting Anna supporters. Sene members immediately beat up some Anna supporters and escaped before police could swing into action.
There was high drama earlier when the three youths arrested for attacking Bhushan were brought to court. The magistrate concerned was on leave. The first duty magistrate refused to take up the case, before Metropolitan Magistrate Kaur heard the matter.
Before reaching Metropolitan Magistrate Kaur’s court, the accused were presented before Metropolitan Magistrate R.L. Menna, who heard the Delhi Police application for identification parade of the arrested.
The accused refused to undergo identification parade.
The police also said they wanted Joginder Pal Singh Bagga, Vishnu Gupta and Inder Verma to be in their custody for two days to unravel the conspiracy behind the attack on Bhushan.
Magistrate Meena said: “The Delhi Police TIP (test identification parade) applications are disposed of, as the video clips of the incident were shown on the TV throughout the night, and so there is no need of any identification, as they have also admitted that they were present over there.”
The court, which dealt with the TIP application, however, cautioned the trio that their refusal to undergo the TIP would be construed as an evidence against them during the trial. The accused re-affirmed their decision that they would not undergo the TIP.
The three youths stormed into the jurist’s chamber and one of them — identified as Inder Verma — started beating him up. Verma was later overpowered by lawyers and others present in the room.
Bhushan later said the youths objected to his comments on the need for a referendum in Kashmir.
Verma, who was arrested shortly after the incident, lives in Nangloi. He is said to be a Sri Ram Sene activist while the other two are stated to be from the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena.
TV channel Times Now, which showed visuals of the incident, said its crew was with Bhushan for his comments on the Lokpal bill when the assault took place.
Bhushan went to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh two weeks ago, where he was asked at a press conference if he would favour a referendum in Kashmir. He replied that there could be a referendum.
It is this that angered the two groups, Bhushan said.
Bagga’s father Prit Pal Singh said that his son was interested in social work from his childhood days.
Prit Pal Singh, a resident of Vishnu Garden in west Delhi, runs a garments shop at Tilak Nagar.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Vijay Jolly condemned the bashing up of Anna supporters outside the court complex.