Explain emergency to impose prohibitory order during Kejriwal protest, Court to cops

Arvind Kejriwal

A court here today questioned the Delhi Police's move to impose prohibitory orders during a protest by Arvind Kejriwal and other members of Aam Aadmi Party at the Prime Minister's residence and other places here last year.

The court asked the police as to what was the "emergency" of imposing Section 144 of CrPC when the protest on the coal blocks allocation scam in August last year was on outside the PM's house and said since it is the right of citizens to protest, what was ''illegal'' in it.

"What was the emergency? Tell me what information you (police) had about threat to law and order there and you imposed Section 144 of the CrPC?," Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said while hearing arguments on a plea of Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and 23 others, who today sought discharge in the case.

The case relates to rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force to obstruct public servants from discharging their duty and damaging public property filed against them after protests on August 26 last year. The court also pulled up the police for not investigating the issue of violation of prohibitory orders.

"You have not investigated properly the issue of Section 144 of CrPC and they have been booked for violating this provision. You want me to accept your documents as it is. In every controversial case, you say put the accused on trial, investigation is going on and will submit details later on," the judge said. Additional Public Prosecutor Rajat Kalra said that the Assistant Commissioner of Police who had issued prohibitory orders will be explaining the necessity during the trial of the case. All the 26 accused, on the last date of hearing, were released by the court after they appeared before it following summons issued against them in connection with three separate rioting cases.

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