Court asks Kejriwal & AAP leaders to appear on May 15
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and four other AAP leaders, accused of violating prohibitory orders here and obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty during an agitation, were today directed to appear before a Delhi court on May 15.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain was irked that Kejriwal and other accused had not appeared before it even on the last date of hearing and said there was "no justifiable ground" for their exemption from personal appearance. Advocate Rishikesh Kumar, who appeared for the accused, assured the court that Kejriwal, Sisodia and other accused would positively appear before it tomorrow.
"Kindly give us time for tomorrow. They (accused) all will appear. I am giving undertaking that they will appear before the court tomorrow," the counsel said.
"It has been submitted that accused number one (Kejriwal) and accused number two (Sisodia) are Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and remaining accused persons are senior members of the AAP and could not appear today due to their busy schedule. Perusal of the records shows that accused persons did not appear on the last date of hearing," the court said.
"No justifiable grounds for exemption is made out....Put up for appearance of accused persons and arguments on charge on May 15," the magistrate said. Kejriwal, Sisodia and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti and Ashutosh were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police in connection with the case. All the accused were earlier granted bail by the court.
Kejriwal and other leaders had staged a '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 last year. The six accused were chargesheeted by the police for allegedly violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC and also obstructing public servants in discharge of their official duty.
The police had chargesheeted 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).