Delhi High Court dismisses plea to restrain Kejriwal from making full statehood promise for Delhi

The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a PIL seeking to restrain Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from making “false” electoral promise of full statehood for Delhi in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The plea came up before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani which rejected it.

The plea also sought direction to the Election Commission to take appropriate action against Kejriwal and AAP for breach of provision of the Representation of the People Act.

The petition filed by Anil Dutt Sharma said that AAP and Kejriwal have been advertising the promise to get full statehood for Delhi despite knowing that even if they will, they cannot grant it.

“The respondents no. 1 (Kejriwal) and 2 (AAP) do not have powers to make Delhi a complete statehood as they represent and seek to represent on Delhi government while that required to be the ruling party with majority in both the houses of Parliament to grant Delhi full statehood. Admittedly, they are not contesting on sufficient seats to get them desired majority to amend the Constitution,” it said.

On April 25, Kejriwal had said “We will fulfil a 70-year-old demand of the people of Delhi by granting full statehood. Both parties, BJP and Congress, have not fulfilled their promise of giving full statehood to Delhi. If Delhi becomes full statehood, we will not require the Centre’s permission. The Anti-Corruption branch will be handled by the Delhi government again.”

In Delhi, polling will take place on May 12 in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections and the results will be announced on May 23.

SC: LG or CM? Who is responsible for clearing mountains of garbage in Delhi

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and the Delhi government to clarify by tomorrow who could be held responsible for clearing the “mountain loads of garbage” in the national capital — those reporting to LG Anil Baijal or to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The top court’s direction came days after its verdict on the power tussle between the Lieutenant Governor and the Aam Aadmi Party government in which it held that the LG has no independent power to take decisions and is bound by the elected government’s aid and advice.

“Now, we have the advantage of the verdict. There is mountain load of garbage in Delhi, particularly in Bhalswa, Okhla and Ghazipur. We would like to know who is responsible for clearing the garbage those answerable to the Lt Governor or those answerable to the Chief Minister,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

At the outset, the bench asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, and the counsel for Delhi government, under whose jurisdiction fell waste management.

“Under whose jurisdiction does waste management falls. Where is an affidavit on waste management policy? Who is responsible for clearing mountains and mountains of garbage in Delhi? Tell us by tomorrow,” the bench said.

Anand said she will file an affidavit by tomorrow on the issue.
“The affidavit in this regard should be filed by the concerned officer of both the functionaries by tomorrow. For this purpose, list the matter on July 12,” the bench said.
During the hearing, the court observed that Delhi is getting buried under mounds of garbage and Mumbai is sinking under water, but the government is doing nothing. It also slapped fines on 10 states and two union territories for not filing their affidavits on their policies for solid waste management strategy.

“You see, Delhi is getting buried under mountain loads of garbage and Mumbai is sinking. But yet, the government does not do anything. When the courts intervene, we are attacked for judicial activism. We are given lectures on separation of powers and encroachment of jurisdiction,” it said.
On March 27, the top court had said that days are not far when garbage mounds at the Ghazipur landfill site in Delhi will match the height of iconic 73-metre high Qutub Minar and red beacon lights will have to be used to ward off aircraft flying over it.

Court issues production warrant for Kejriwal’s arrested kin

A Delhi court today issued production warrant for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s relative Vinay Bansal, arrested in connection with an alleged scam in the Public Works Department (PWD), after the Tihar jail authorities failed to produce him.
The court took a stern view and directed the jail authorities to explain the absence of Bansal, a nephew of Kejriwal, who was sent to one-day judicial remand yesterday after he fainted in the court room and was rushed to nearby hospital.

“The accused has not been produced by jail superintendent, Tihar jail. No intimation from the superintendent regarding his non-production. Production warrant be issued against the accused with a direction to the jail superintendent to explain non-production of the accused. The accused to be brought tomorrow,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Khanagwal said.

Bansal, through his counsel B S Joon, also moved a bail application on the ground that all allegations were baseless and the FIR filed against him was false and frivolous. He said Bansal was currently in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital here.

The application, which will be heard on May 14, also said he has been cooperating with the investigating agency since the FIR was lodged in May last year and never evaded the process of law.

A duty magistrate had yesterday remanded Bansal to a day’s judicial custody while refusing the Anti-Corruption Branch’s plea seeking his three-day remand.

In the court room packed with lawyers and mediapersons, Bansal had fainted during the hearing and a stretcher was brought to take him to the CAT ambulance stationed outside the court premises. The proceedings were halted for a few minutes.

The probe agency had yesterday argued that custodial interrogation was necessary for digging out the true factual position in the case.

Bansal, the son of Kejriwal’s late brother-in-law Surender Bansal, was arrested yesterday by the ACB. Three FIRs, including one against a company run by the chief minister’s brother-in-law Surender Bansal, were registered by the ACB in this case on May 9 last year.

Three companies, including Renu Constructions (owned by Bansal, Kamal Singh and Pawan Kumar), were also named in the FIRs.

In a complaint, Rahul Sharma, founder of NGO Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO), had alleged financial irregularities in building a drain in north-west Delhi and that Kejriwal and PWD minister Satyendra Jain misused their office for grant of contracts to Bansal. However, they were not named in the FIR.

Delhi court has dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

A Delhi court has dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi by raising questions over his educational degree, saying only aggrieved persons can file defamation complaints.

Three persons — Yogesh Bhardwaj, Rakshpal Singh and Ijharul-Haq — had moved the court seeking an order asking the police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP leaders Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha, Ashish Khetan and Jitender Singh Tomar, for allegedly defaming the Prime Minister.

“Only an aggrieved person, that is a person who has been defamed, can prosecute for his defamation.

“Admittedly, the complainants are not the aggrieved/victims of defamatory statements, if any, made by the respondents (Kejriwal, Sisodia, Ashutosh, Chadha, Khetan and Tomar). Therefore, they have no locus to file and prosecute the present case as far as the offence of defamation is concerned,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said while summarily rejecting the complaint.

The court also noted that the complainants had not given any thought on what offence they were alleging against the respondents persons.

“The complainants state in the heading of the complaint, the commission of following other offences, that is 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code but did not elaborate how these offences are made out in this case. All these offences except 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC relates to the offence of forgery,” it said.

The court also said that no offence for forgery could be attributed to the respondents as the complainants did not place on record the document which has been forged.

Regarding section 504, the court said there was nothing in the complaint to substantiate this charge.

“The complaint has no merits. Not only on merits that no case is made out, but also for want of locus to prosecute, I refuse to direct registration of FIR and refuse to take cognisance of the offence under section 499, 500, 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 of IPC against the respondents. The complaint is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

The complaint had alleged that the respondents had defamed the Prime Minister in May 2016 on the issue of his degrees and tarnished his image by showing his false degrees in press conferences and print and other social media.

However, the University of Delhi on May 11, 2016 made the Prime Minister’s degrees public which had exposed the false propaganda of the accused persons, it had said.

The complainants also claimed to have approached the police which did not take any step against the accused persons.

Bribery remarks: Complaint case filed against Arvind Kejriwal

The Election Commission today told the Delhi High Court that a complaint case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was pending before a Goa court for his alleged bribery remarks during the January 2017 assembly polls there.

The submission came in pursuance to the court’s earlier direction on whether any FIR has been lodged, as the EC had previously stated that such an action has been taken.

Justice Rekha Palli was informed by the counsel for EC that a complaint case was filed in pursuance to the poll panel’s letter of January 29 last year directing the Chief Electoral Officer of Goa to take legal action or lodge an FIR against Kejriwal for his bribery remark at poll rallies in the state on January 7-8 last year.

Addressing a series of rallies in Goa, Kejriwal had reportedly asked voters to “accept money from the Congress and BJP candidates but vote for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).”

EC’s counsel P R Chopra said no FIR has been lodged against the AAP leader and the complaint case has been listed before the Goa court for March 1 and the complainant has been asked to appear.

Kejriwal’s lawyer had earlier told the court that according to information received under the RTI Act, no FIR has been lodged against him anywhere in Goa in connection with the remarks.

During the day’s hearing, advocate Manish Vashisht, appearing for Kejriwal, contended that the actions of EC were in violation of his right to freedom and free speech.

This was opposed by Chopra who sought time to file counter affidavit. He also argued that the AAP leader’s petition was not maintainable and said such statements went against the model code of conduct.

The court noted that despite opportunity, the EC has not filed its response, but granted it time while listing the matter for further hearing on May 25. The bench also said it has not expressed any view on the maintainability of the petition.

Kejriwal’s lawyer contended that such statements did not fall in the category of instigating somebody and referred to an order of a Delhi trial court which had dismissed a petition making similar allegations. Kejriwal, in his plea, has alleged that the poll panel’s January 29, 2017 order had curtailed his right to free speech.

The BJP had filed two complaints against Kejriwal seeking his prosecution under various sections of Indian Penal Code for asking voters to accept money. Congress too had condemned his statement.

The poll panel had, thereafter, directed that a complaint be lodged against the AAP leader under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act dealing with bribing voters and relevant sections of the IPC.

Delhi CS Anshu Prakash assault case: Govt mulling live streaming of official meetings

 The Delhi government is mulling live streaming of all official meetings following the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at the chief minister’s residence last week.

Prakash was allegedly assaulted by AAP MLAs and others during a meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on February 19.

A senior government official said that as per a plan, live feed of meetings with audio output will be available on a website.

If the plan is passed, funds will be allocated for it in the upcoming budget, he said.

“Through live streaming of official meetings, people will be able to know who spoke what in the meeting, be it the elected representative or officials,” the official said.

There is also a plan to put all file movement and notings online, he said.

“Plan is also to put all file movement and file notings online for people to see who was working on a file for how long, who cleared it and who wrote what on a particular file, be it the elected government or officers,” the official said.

In the past, the AAP government had alleged that some officers created hurdles in the works of city administrations.

Since the alleged attack on the chief secretary, officers have not been attending meetings of the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues, demanding that Kejriwal apologise for the incident.

AAP to go ahead with protest, police impose prohibitory orders

aaThe AAP Sunday said it will go ahead with its protest outside the union home ministry office here on Monday if five police officials are not suspended for their inaction in busting a “prostitution and drug racket”, even as police imposed prohibitory orders banning unlawful assembly in the area.

The party has alleged that the policemen did not cooperate with Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti during his vigilante-style raid Wednesday night and on minister Rakhi Birla’s complaint concerning “improper action” in a dowry case.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also scheduled to take part in the protest outside the home ministry office demanding action against the police personnel, who include three station house officers and two assistant commissioners of police.

Delhi Police, which is under the union home ministry, Sunday imposed prohibitory orders banning unlawful assembly in New Delhi district, where the union home ministry office is located in North Block.

Police said the prohibitory orders were imposed as per normal procedure followed every year before Jan 26 for maintaining security ahead of the Republic Day celebrations and not in view of Monday’s proposed protest by the AAP.

Sources said senior officials of Delhi Police also held a meeting in the evening to discuss their response in view of AAP’s proposed protest.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh told media persons after a meeting of the party’s political affairs committee that they will go on with the protest.

“We are doing service for the people. We will not stop. Let police do whatever they want,” Singh said.

“We got to know about the imposing of Section 144 only through the media. We are fighting for the people and will continue with our protest. Let the police do their duty.”

Singh said they were hoping that the union home ministry and Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung will take action against the police personnel by Monday morning.

He also accused Delhi Police of “misbehaviour with women” who live in slums and termed the police “corrupt.”

He said ministers like Bharti and Birla were trying to make Delhi safe by cracking down on prostitution and drug rackets.

Bharti has already clarified that he never misbehaved with anyone, he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party’s proposed protest and said Bharti’s actions smacked of “racism”.

Jaitley also took a dig at the AAP for deciding to launch an agitation outside the home ministry office and said the party was more comfortable on the streets than the secretariat.

“It is obvious that the AAP is more comfortable doing a dharna than in the sachivalaya (secretariat). The past three weeks have shown that in the sachivalya, the party gets into a self-destructive mode,” Jaitley wrote on his blog Sunday.

Saying there was no discipline in AAP, the BJP leader wrote: “Is the planned dharna for one day a ploy to fracture its non-transparent arrangement with the Congress? Is the AAP looking for a way out of the government and get back to the streets?”

“The party comprises of ideologists, activists, the self-opinionated and the self-righteous. Forming a party and running a government is very different from leading an agitation.”

The BJP leader further said Bharti has “created a serious problem with African nationals staying in Delhi”.

The BJP’s Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel also demanded Bharti’s removal.

Police also lodged an FIR against unknown people for creating ruckus during the midnight raid to bust the alleged “racket”, in the presence of Bharti, in a south Delhi house where some African nationals were staying.

The complaint was lodged at the Malviya Nagar police station on the orders of Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh.

(Source: IANS)