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Kejriwal, AAP leaders appear in court

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and three other AAP leaders, accused of violating prohibitory orders here and obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty during an agitation, today appeared in a Delhi court.

Kejriwal and four others appeared in court in pursuance to the direction of Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain, who was earlier irked that the accused had not appeared before him even on the last date of hearing.

While Kejriwal, Sisodia and AAP leaders Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti and Ashutosh were present in the court, Sanjay Singh sought exemption from personal appearance for the day on the ground that he was out of station. His plea was allowed.

They were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police in connection with staging a protest against police officials outside Rail Bhavan last year. All accused were earlier granted bail by the court.

During the hearing, senior advocate H S Phoolka and advocate R K Wadhwa, appearing for Kejriwal and other AAP leaders, moved an application seeking certain documents which were not supplied to them with the charge sheet.

The court directed the SHO of Parliament Street and the investigating officer of the case to supply copy of deficient documents, including two CDs and complete transcript of speech to the accused.

The court fixed August 4 for hearing arguments on framing of charges against the accused.

The court had earlier directed the leaders to appear before it, saying there was “no justifiable ground” for their exemption from personal appearance.

Kejriwal and other leaders had staged a ‘dharna’ outside Rail Bhavan demanding action against police officials who had refused to carry out 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).

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