Kejriwal's PA Bibhav Kumar sent to five-day police custody after arrest in Maliwal assault case

Delhi Police had registered a case of molestation and attempt to culpable homicide against Kumar for physically assaulting Swati Maliwal at CM Kejriwal's residence on May 13.
DCP (North) Anjitha Chepyala arrives at the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in connection with the AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal assault case, in New Delhi,
DCP (North) Anjitha Chepyala arrives at the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in connection with the AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal assault case, in New Delhi, Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's close aide and personal assistant Bibhav Kumar was sent to five-day police custody after being arrested on Saturday in connection with Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal's assault case. Kumar was produced late at night before the Tees Hazari court which passed the order.

The Delhi Police, while seeking Kumar's custody, had told the court that the CCTV footage provided was blank. They also noted that Kumar gave them his mobile phone but refused to provide the password. Additionally, the police claimed that Kumar had formatted his phone the previous day due to a malfunction.

The police further stated that before formatting, the data on the phone needed to be cloned and that Kumar needed to be taken to Mumbai to retrieve the data. His presence was also necessary for an expert to unlock the phone.

Countering these arguments, Kumar's counsel, Rajiv Mohan, pointed out that there was no record of Maliwal's visit to the CM's residence before May 13, nor did she explain why the FIR was filed only on May 16.

After hearing both sides, the Tees Hazari Court passed the order.

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Notably, Kumar was apprehended from CM Kejriwal's residence earlier in the day.

The Delhi Police registered a case of molestation and attempted culpable homicide against Kumar for allegedly physically assaulting AAP Rajya Sabha MP Maliwal at the CM's residence on May 13.

The FIR was registered under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (B) (assault or use of criminal force to a woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code at Civil Lines police station.

A day earlier, Maliwal recorded her statement before a magistrate regarding the alleged assault, while Kumar had lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police against Maliwal for allegedly assaulting him and creating a ruckus at the CM's residence.

Before his arrest, Kumar had written to the police, expressing his willingness to cooperate in their investigation, while also urging them to consider his complaint against Maliwal.

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An official privy to the probe told The New Indian Express that they received information about Kumar's presence at the CM's house, following which a team was dispatched, and Kumar was apprehended and brought to the Civil Lines police station, where he was arrested.

Kumar's legal team arrived at the Civil Lines police station but were not allowed to enter. "We are here for Bibhav. We are trying to enter the police station, but the police are misbehaving and not allowing us to enter. Bibhav had already sent a mail to the police saying that he is ready to cooperate in the investigation," said Sanjeev, a member of Kumar's legal team.

Later in the day, Kumar's legal team approached the Tis Hazari Court seeking anticipatory bail. However, the court rejected the plea, deeming it "infructuous" as Kumar had already been arrested.

Additional Sessions Judge Sushil Anuj Tyagi in Tis Hazari Court, who had completed the hearing by 4:40 pm, said he was informed at 4:45 pm that the applicant had been arrested at 4:15 pm and therefore disposed of the petition as infructuous.

Hours before his arrest, Kumar had applied for an urgent hearing of his anticipatory bail plea, which was permitted by the principal district and sessions judge and marked to Judge Tyagi.

During the hearing, Kumar's lawyer argued that his client was "caught in the crossfire of political giants."

DCP (North) Anjitha Chepyala arrives at the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in connection with the AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal assault case, in New Delhi,
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Reacting to his private secretary's arrest, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a televised address, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of targeting AAP by arresting its leaders.

"Today, they have arrested my PA. Now they are saying they will arrest Raghav Chadha, who has just returned from London. Soon, they say, they will arrest Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi," Kejriwal said. He announced that he would visit the BJP headquarters on Sunday along with all his MLAs and MPs. "You can jail whoever you want," the CM emphasized.

The BJP responded to Kejriwal's address, asking him to stop the "drama" and address the alleged assault on Maliwal. "Stop doing this drama. You used to call Maliwal 'Jhansi ki Rani.' She was beaten at your residence; it has been six days, and you have not said a word for your sister," Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said.

Meanwhile, adding to the assault controversy, a report from AIIMS, where Maliwal underwent a medical examination on May 16, indicated that she suffered bruises on her left thigh and right cheek, below the eye. Maliwal had alleged that she was slapped at least 7-8 times by Bibhav Kumar.

Earlier in the day, new CCTV footage surfaced on social media showing Maliwal leaving the CM's residence escorted by female security staff, adding a new twist to the assault saga.

DCP (North) Anjitha Chepyala arrives at the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in connection with the AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal assault case, in New Delhi,
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