A Delhi court on Tuesday summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and 11 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs as accused in the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash assault case, after taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the police.
Prakash was allegedly assaulted during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19 night.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal issued summons after taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police on August 13.
The court issued summons to all the accused and directed them to appear before it on October 25, saying there were sufficient grounds to establish the charges against them in the case.
Besides Kejriwal and Sisodia, the chargesheet also names 11 legislators of the ruling AAP as accused. They are Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohania.
The judge said he was taking cognisance of the offences against all the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including wrongful confinement, assaulting or using criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, insulting him to provoke breach of peace and abetment of the offence.
“There are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused... Let these accused be summoned through investigating officer for October 25,” the judge said.
If convicted, the accused may get a maximum of seven-year jail term.
The court also heard arguments on an application moved by the chief secretary seeking a direction to the Delhi Police to conduct prosecution through the counsels selected by the investigating agency, and said it would pass order on the issue on October 10.
The court had on August 25 reserved the order while rejecting a plea moved by Kejriwal, his deputy and the other legislators seeking to restrain the police from sharing information with the media on the charge sheet.
It had said it needed time to go through the 1,300-page chargesheet, in which the police has alleged that Kejriwal, Sisodia and the others had criminally conspired to threaten the Chief Secretary with death or grievous hurt, obstructed him in discharging his public function and caused hurt.
The AAP leaders were also charged with offence committed under IPC section 149, which says if an offence is committed by a member of an unlawful assembly, every other member of such assembly shall be held guilty of the offence.
The Delhi Police had on May 18 questioned Kejriwal for over three hours in connection with the case, alleging that he was present when the alleged assault took place. Two of the party MLAs -- Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal -- were also arrested.
The alleged assault had triggered a bitter tussle between the Delhi government and its bureaucrats.