Alleged assault of Anshu Prakash: Abide by your duty to be fair, SC tells Delhi Police
The HC had set aside a sessions court order rejecting the plea of Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia to provide the witness statement in the 2018 alleged assault of Prakash.
Published: 02nd July 2021 03:57 AM | Last Updated: 02nd July 2021 08:39 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the Delhi Police challenging the Delhi High Court order which allowed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s plea to provide statement of witnesses in the 2018 alleged assault of then Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.
“It is the basic principle of natural justice. It is common sense that the accused must have the copy. It might be a political hot potato, but legally, it is nothing. It is not worth it lingering on this matter. It is a good view of the High Court and it is in the interest of liberty and we will affirm it,” said a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud to ASG Aman Lekhi appearing for the Delhi Police and tried hard to persuade the Judges, but was told that the case does not hold merit.
“The Investigating agency must also abide by the duty to be fair. This is not an oral statement that has been recorded in the case diary, this is a written statement and it will not be fair to the accused to not give it to them. If there is something that will benefit the accused, they are entitled to access it.”
“The purpose of the criminal justice administration is not to convict people but to allow criminal justice to run a fair course. Leave it there, there is nothing in this matter,” the bench observed.
Last year, the Delhi High Court had set aside a sessions court order rejecting the plea of Kejriwal and his deputy, Manish Sisodia, to provide the statement of one of the witnesses in the 2018 alleged assault of Prakash, who was then chief secretary.
The Delhi Police challenged the order in Supreme Court arguing that police diary cannot be given to the accused.
Pleading that the High Court order will have a huge impact, the police appealed that such request should not be allowed by the court.
The criminal case relates to an alleged assault on Prakash during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19, 2018.
It is the basic principle of natural justice, it is common sense that the accused must have the copy. It might be a political hot potato, but legally, it is nothing. It is not worth it lingering on this matter
Supreme Court bench
The investigating agency must also abide by the duty to be fair.
The purpose of criminal justice administration is not to convict people but to allow criminal justice to run a fair course.