The Additional Session Judge Naveen Kashyap on Tuesday while denying bail to eight arrested persons namely Chander Kant Bhardwaj, Naveen Kumar, Neeraj Dixit, Sunny Jitender Singh Bisht, Pradeep Kumar Tiwari, Raju Kumar Singh, and Bablu Kumar, noted that such protesters had no regard even to the directions issued by Delhi High Court which were communicated to them.
“There is no doubt that the right to assemble and protest by a political party is a fundamental right. But having noted so, it can also be noted that such a right is subject to certain restrictions and not an uncontrolled one,” the Court said.
The Delhi High Court further noted that, in the present case, it is not a simple case that they protested and ended their protest then and there.
“As per the investigation carried and reply filed by the Police, despite telling protesters and their leaders, including the present applicants, they can protest at a particular place, they did not comply with the same,” the Court said.
“Not only this, it is not at one stage but at three different security layers of barricades, they violated the directions of the concerned police officials,” the Court said.
The Court added, “Not only this, prima facie, it appears that present accused persons are out of those accused persons who even caused damage to the public property and injury to the police officials. Thus, prima facie it is clear that their fundamental right to peacefully protest is exceeded by them knowingly / intentionally.”
“Further, it is rightly stated by the police officers concerned that investigation is at the very initial stage and they are still investigating the other offences which are committed, if any, including under sections 149 IPC. It is further stated that they are still awaiting a reply to the notice given to the concerned official of CM house regarding the CCTV footage and the damage to the boom barrier. Further, even the period to seek police remand is not yet over. Therefore, having regard to the manner in which the present offence is committed, the very initial stage of the investigation, and the role assigned to the present accused persons, this Court is not inclined at this stage to grant them regular bail,” said the Court.
Recently, the Delhi High Court sought a status report from Delhi Police over the incident of violent Protest and vandalism outside the Delhi Chief Minister and also directed to preserve the CCTV footage of the incident.
In Delhi HC, the plea sought direction for the constitution of a Special Investigation Team to undertake an independent, fair, and time-bound criminal investigation with respect to the attack and its perpetrators.
The petitioner also alleged that the attack was done by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) workers and appears to have been carried out with Delhi Police’s tacit complicity.
“Visuals from outside Kejriwal’s residence on March 30, showed protestors casually walking through the police security cordon, kicking and breaking boom barriers, breaking CCTV cameras with lathis, throwing paint at the gate, and attempting to climb over the entrance gate, while Delhi Police personnel simply looked on, doing little to stop the protestors,” stated the plea.
“Saurabh Bhardwaj, sitting MLA from AAP stated that the party strongly supports the right to protest peacefully, even if such protest is against the Delhi Government, it is submitted that in the name of protest, violence cannot and ought not to be permitted and condoned,” plea stated.
first published:April 5, 2022, 9:17 p.m.