Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia acquitted in Chief Secretary's assault case
A Delhi court has acquitted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in a 2018 case of alleged assault on then Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. Nine other MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have also been cleared of charges by the special court. The alleged assault had taken place in February, 2018.
A special MP/MLA court, presided over by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sachin Gupta, pronounced the order on Wednesday. Magistrate Gupta, however, has ordered the framing of charges against two AAP MLAs - Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, according to reports. Deputy CM Sisodia has welcomed the court order, calling it a "victory of justice and truth."
The alleged assault on Prakash, a 1986-batch IAS official, was reported after a meeting at Kejriwal's official residence on February 19, 2018. He then filed a police complaint, saying he was attacked by AAP MLAs. MLAs Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar, and Dinesh Mohaniya were also named as accused in the case.
Prakash had alleged that AAP MLAs threatened to implicate him in false cases if an issue around television advertisements about government achievements was not resolved soon. Delhi Police had said the attack was deliberate and AAP leaders had also tried to "cover up" the incident. AAP had denied the allegations while the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress had slammed the ruling party.
"The court said that all allegations in the matter were false and baseless, the Chief Minister was acquitted today in that false case. We had been saying that the allegations were false. It was a conspiracy hatched against the Chief Minister," Sisodia said today at a press briefing. "The Delhi Police hatched this conspiracy at the behest of PM Modi and BJP," he added.