NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday stepped down the Delhi Police for its failure to prevent the vandalism done Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers outside the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.
A Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla, held on Monday where, they examined the status report filed by the Delhi Police, They have found that the bandobast made outside the residence of CM Delhi was inadequate and they failed to prevent mischief from eventually reaching the gate, and vandalizing the public property.
The court said that – “In our view, the lapse is a serious lapse and should be looked at by the Commissioner of Police and he should enquire into first, whether the bandobast was adequate; the reasons for the failure of arrangement made and thirdly fix the responsibility for the lapse that has occurred,”
Therefore, a status report was sought by the Court disclosing details of the steps taken and the security arrangement to prevent such incidents do not take place in the future.
The Court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Saurabh Bhardwaj he was the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)seeking an inquiry by a special investigating team into the alleged attack on Kejriwal’s house.
The protests by BJYM members were reportedly in relation to a recent statement by Kejriwal on the movie “The Kashmir Files”. As per reports, a boom barrier and CCTV camera were broken in the incident and the main gate was rammed into before being sprayed with red paint.
Advocate Amit Mahajan filed a status report under a sealed cover and informed the Court that the investigation was ongoing. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain who is for the Delhi Police submitted that the bandobast outside the CM’s house has been enhanced. He also assured the Court that the police will examine whether something went wrong and if that could be prevented in the future.
The Bench, however, stated that this kind of incident happening at the residence of a constitutional functionary reflected a very disturbing state of affairs.
The court said during the hearing – “One thing which emerges from your report is that you have put up these barricades. They were denied permission yet they came. The first barricade is breached, the second is breached and the third is breached. What kind of bandobast is this? You have seriously look at your functioning”
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the petitioner, objected to the status report not being shared with the petitioners. He further highlighted the need for an SIT investigation.
“For a 20-minute lapse on a flyover, Supreme Court has passed directions. Here people have almost entered the house. If it had been any other functionary, would it had been same? SITs have been constituted for all and sundry cases,” Singhvi argued
The Senior Counsel also submitted a video to the Court where the miscreants could be seen.
“Those who were on the video are felicitated by the political powers,” he said.
He, therefore, stated that the police would be under extreme pressure and could not possibly conduct an impartial investigation.
On hearing submissions from all parties, the Court concluded that the incident “definitely needs investigation at highest level“. In relation to this, a further report including details on how things panned out and how the police at the spot reacted was sought.
“Security failure is something that should come with consequences. You present a report on that,” the Court said.
As the hearing drew to a close, the Court said that a constitutional office needs to be protected.
“This is a very important facet of democracy. Irrespective of our ideology, irrespective of our political party… Just like Prime Minister is the Prime Minister of the country. It is the constitutional office we are concerned with..”
With these observations, the case was adjourned to May 17 with a direction to the Delhi Police to submit a second status report.