Former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and four others were granted bail by a Delhi court in connection with a case relating to Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) agitation near North block here in January this year.
Mr. Kejriwal and AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti and Ashutosh appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain in pursuance to the summons issued against them.
The court granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 5,000 each and fixed the matter for further hearing on October 28.
The five accused, along with AAP leader Sanjay Singh, were charge sheeted by the Delhi Police in connection with the case for allegedly violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC and also obstructing public servants in discharge of their official duty.
Sanjay Singh did not appear before the court as summons issued against him had not yet been served.
The police had charge sheeted them under various sections of the IPC, including 145 (joining and continuing in an unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public function), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty).
Mr. Kejriwal and other leaders had staged ‘dharna’ outside Rail Bhavan demanding action against police officials who had refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution racket in south Delhi in January this year.
In its charge sheet, the police claimed that on January 19, the Assistant Commissioner of Police had imposed prohibitory orders in the North Block, South Block, Vijay Chowk areas near Rail Bhawan and Parliament Street.
On January 20, the then CM Kejriwal and other AAP leaders assembled at the Rail Bhawan chowk defying the prohibitory orders, it said.
On being told about the prohibitory orders, Mr. Kejriwal had told the cops that he would go to the then Home Minister’s office at North Block in his car and also laid a condition that media persons and his supporters would also accompany him, it had said.
The charge sheet had further claimed that Mr. Kejriwal, Mr. Sisodia and other AAP leaders along with 250-300 supporters defied the orders and started moving towards the then Home Minister’s office.
When the police officials present there tried to stop them with barricades, these leaders instigated their supporters and they manhandled the policemen, it had alleged.
The police said Mr. Kejriwal and his supporters then sat on a ‘dharna’ at Rail Bhawan chowk defying the prohibitory orders.
It had also said that they have got the video footage of the incident from various news channels.
The charge sheet had said when Mr. Kejriwal and his supporters were stopped at the barricades at Rail Bhawan chowk, they raised slogans against the police, Central government and the Home Ministry and tried to move forward by manhandling the police officials present there.
After that, the cops tried to pacify the protesters and declared it as unlawful assembly but they still defied the orders by pushing forward the barricades, it had said.
When the protesters were stopped, Mr. Kejriwal got annoyed and declared that he would stage ‘dharna’ for the next 10 days at Rail Bhawan chowk and he sat there and gave instigating speeches, it had said.
The charge sheet had said on being warned by the police to disperse from the spot, the protesters manhandled them.
Mr. Kejriwal had demanded immediate suspension of the “corrupt” officials who refused to act in the interest of the public whose cause former Law Minister Somnath Bharti had taken up.
Mr. Bharti had created a controversy in January when he went to a locality in his constituency of Malviya Nagar, claiming a drug and prostitution ring was being run from a residence and demanded police raid the place.
However, the police had refused saying they had no warrant to do so. The AAP workers had allegedly forced a couple of women from Uganda to give urine samples. Their action came under an attack from all sides but the AAP government insists that action should be taken against the police officials.
During the protest, a scuffle had broken out between the AAP supporters and policemen outside Rail Bhawan when cops disconnected Mr. Kejriwal’s audio system prompting angry response from the supporters.