The Delhi High Court today overturned a court order dismissing the plea of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Chief Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia to provide the statement of one of the witnesses in the case relating to the alleged assault on then-chief secretary Anshu Prakash in 2018.
Police cannot choose which evidence will be recorded, the court said.
Judge Suresh K Kait ordered the trial court to consider the statement in question of February 21, 2018 at the time of the issuance of the impeachment order.
The High Court also said that it was the investigative agency’s “first duty” to conduct a free and fair investigation and subsequently to bring to the attention of the trial court all evidence gathered. ” no choice “.
“The investigating body does not have the power to assess the evidence, it is up to the court. Therefore, the impugned order (of July 24, 2019) is set aside.
“Therefore, the court of first instance is invited to consider the statement dated February 21, 2018 from VK Jain (witness), which is part of the` `diary of the case ” and entered in the file by the accused, at the time of the passage of the impeachment order, “Judge Kait said in his order.
Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, in their plea, went through lawyer Mohd. Irsad, alleged that the prosecution withheld Jain’s statement recorded on February 21, 2018 because it did not fit the prosecution and helped falsely implicate the petitioners.
They had argued that a copy of the statement should have been provided to them.
The state government, represented by Delhi government’s permanent (criminal) lawyer Rahul Mehra, claimed in its situation report that Jain was called to the police station on February 21, 2018 and was interviewed that day, but no statement under Article 161 The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was recorded.
Mr Jain’s declaration under Article 161 CrPC was only registered on February 22, 2018 and May 9, 2018, he told the High Court.
The government also claimed that the reference in the 161 CrPC statement by Mr Jain of 9 May 2018 regarding the recording of statements under Articles 161 CrPC and 164 CrpC was a “typographical error”.
A declaration under article 161 CrPC is made to a police officer and article 164 CrPC deals with statements or confessions made before a magistrate.
The government had argued that these two statements, by Mr. Jain, were recorded on February 22, 2018.
He further argued that under the CRPC, “what must be provided to an accused are the specified documents and nothing more. This is what the prosecution proposes to rely on. which can be provided and the accused cannot request the provision of a document which he has. produced and upon which the prosecution does not choose to rely. “
The high court disagreed with the claims, saying that the lower court, in its order of July 24, 2019, recorded that upon reading the diary of the case, it showed that Jain had been thoroughly examined at the police station on February 21, 2018 and a report was prepared.
“The diary of the case further shows that after examination, VK Jain was released from the investigation after giving him the necessary instructions. The judge of the additional sessions further observed that since this is a record of the oral examination of VK Jain by the investigator and is noted in the Journal of the case, said examination is not is not required to be declared under Article 161 Cr.PC and therefore should not be handed over to the accused. However, it can be used during the trial, ”the High Court said in its order.
The High Court further said that while the prosecution completely denied that no statement was taken on February 21, 2018, the case log indicates that a statement was recorded on that date.
“Thus, the prosecution’s position cannot be accepted, which is contrary to their own record,” the High Court said.
She also called “perverse” the courtroom’s opinion that since Jain’s oral examination was recorded on February 21, 2018, according to the case log, it cannot be provided to the court. ‘accused because he was not registered under article 161 of the CCP.
The courtroom, however, said that the oral statement could be used by the accused during the trial.
“The aforementioned opinion, in my opinion, is perverse due to the fact that the statement dated February 21, 2018 is not oral but written and that said statement has been referred to in various other documents and orders as discussed above, thus, it acquires the status of Article 161 Cr.PC
“In addition, if the statement dated February 21, 2018 is not taken into consideration at the time of the issuance of the arraignment order, which is part of the criminal record, then during the trial it cannot be invoked and the benefit of the same will not be available to the accused, ”Judge Kait said.
The criminal case concerns an alleged assault on then-chief secretary Anshu Prakash during a meeting at Mr. Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19, 2018.
Anshu Prakash was then transferred and is now the additional secretary of the telecommunications department.
On October 25, 2018, Mr. Kejriwal, Mr. Sisodia and nine other AAP deputies were released on bail by the trial court in the assault case.
The other two MPs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who are also accused, were arrested earlier in the case and have been released on bail by the High Court.
The alleged assault had sparked a bitter struggle between the Delhi government and its bureaucrats.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)