From Molestation to Assault, AAP MLAs Have it All

With 22 of its 67 lawmakers facing criminal cases, the Aam Aadmi Party’s slogan of weeding out crime and criminals from politics has boomeranged

Published: 10th August 2015 02:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2015 04:57 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI:  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and a self-proclaimed candidate for a Rajya Sabha berth, Kumar Vishwas is in trouble again after a woman lodged a complaint accusing him of molesting her at a five-star hotel here. Earlier, Vishwas and his wife were summoned by the Delhi Commission for Women after an AAP volunteer sought its help in a case, claiming that false rumours had been spread against her for having an illicit relationship with the leader.

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This is not the first time when an AAP leader has been accused of such charges. While the party claims that fighting corruption and criminality in politics is in their DNA, six months into their second stint in power, a Delhi Police report shows quite the contrary.

One-third of the 67 AAP legislators—including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goyal—have criminal cases pending against them. From land grabbing to extortion to molestation, there are 48 criminal cases against 22 AAP legislators at police stations in Delhi. Close relatives of three MLAs are under the same cloud. Investigations are complete in 48 cases and are ongoing in 22. Trials are pending in 21 cases.

Eleven criminal cases have been registered against Kejriwal at Parliament Street and Tughlak Road police stations, mostly for obstructing officials in the discharge of public functions, assault and rioting. Similarly, six cases have been registered against Sisodia at Tughlak Road and Parliament Street police stations.

AAP’s Shahdara MLA Ram Niwas Goyal and his supporters had allegedly “raided” a realtor’s house in Vivek Vihar in the night of February 6, accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other things for giving to voters ahead of the polls. A case has been registered against him at Vivek Vihar Police station for rioting, trespassing, causing mischief and voluntarily casing hurt. The chargesheet will be filed soon.

Molestation.JPGSacked Delhi law minister and MLA from Trinagar Jitender Singh Tomar is out on bail after spending a month and a half in Tihar Jail for forging his law degree; the charges against him are cheating, forgery, forgery with intent to cheat and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Tomar was arrested following a probe by Delhi Police on the complaint of the Bar Council of Delhi that he had obtained a fake law degree from a Bihar college. He was granted bail on July 23.

Satyender Jain, Delhi’s home minister, has been booked at Paschim Vihar police station. On July 13, 2013, he led a mob of 300 who pelted stones at policemen and captured government vehicles protesting that police had let off a rapist. Police have completed their probe and the chargesheet is under scrutiny.

Special Commissioner of Delhi Police Deepak Mishra told The Sunday Standard, “No one is above the law. Whoever commits a crime is liable to be punished under the relevant section of Indian law.”

On August 4, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment Surinder Singh thrashed NDMC’s sanitary inspector R J Meena near the prime minister’s residence. Mukesh Kumar, Meena’s junior, was abused and punched by Singh’s driver they were carrying out an anti-encroachment drive on Race Course Road. After the incident, Singh went into hiding. He is yet to join the probe.

Legislator Manoj Kumar from Kondli was arrested on July 9 for cheating and land grabbing and sent to Tihar Jail. He is out on bail. He is also an accused in three cases at Kalyanpuri, Ghazipur and New Ashok Nagar police stations for molestation, obstructing a government servant from carrying out his duty and voluntarily causing hurt.

A case has been registered against Raghuveer Shokeen, MLA from Nangloi Jat, at Nihal Vihar police station for allegedly cheating a person of `1.51 crore in a land deal. AAP MLA Jarnail Singh from Rajouri Garden—who faces three cases—attacked a government engineer during the demolition of an illegal colony in Tilak Nagar. He absconded and was later granted bail.

MLA from Matiala, Gulab Singh, is involved in two cases. Last year, he and 80 of his followers blocked a road in Dwarka with a corpse and instigated a riot against police. A non-bailable case was registered at Dwarka North police station. Another case is pending against him at Najafgarh police station for holding illegal demonstrations.

MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi has the dubious distinction of facing eight cases in Model Town, Adarsh Nagar, Parliament Street and Burari police stations. Trial is pending in all. Tripathi’s was the first case registered against an MLA after AAP formed the government in Delhi on February 14. His supporters—joined by another Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha—clashed with police after his vehicle was not allowed to enter Burari police station, where they had arrived to register a case against an alleged kidnapper. Nine policemen and six AAP members, including Jha, were injured. Police registered a case against both.

AAP MLA from Kirari, Rituraj Govind, was booked for allegedly beating up a junior engineer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi during a demolition drive in Aman Vihar. The chargesheet is under scrutiny. A plea seeking his prosecution for allegedly issuing identity cards with the state emblem on them to party volunteers is also pending in the high court, which has sought replies from AAP, the Centre and Delhi Police by August 11. Issuing such cards “amounts to misuse” of the state emblem as per the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005. The ID cards designated AAP workers as “in-charge of anti-corruption”.

MLA Naresh Balyan from Uttam Nagar came under the police radar after the Crime Branch recovered 497 cartons containing 8,352 bottles of liquor from his house in Om Vihar area on January 31 when the model code of conduct was in force for the Delhi Assembly elections.

Six cases have been registered against AAP leader Rakhi Birla at South Rohini police station and four at Parliament Street police station. In October last year, North Delhi Municipal Corporation filed an FIR against her for disrupting government work when she and her supporters misbehaved with staff, snatched their brooms and tried to block the sanitation drive in Sector 3, Rohini. She was also booked under the SC/ST Act and the probe is complete.

Tughlakabad MLA Shiram Pahalwan has six cases registered against him between 1995 to 2014 at Okhla police station. Similarly, AAP MLA from Okhla Amanatullah Khan faces two cases and the investigation is complete. He is under constant surveillance by the anti-terror unit of Delhi Police. Six cases are also registered against Somnath Bharti elected from Malaviya Nagar—molestaion and domestic violence.

Two cases have been registered against AAP MLAs Prakash Jarwal of Devli at Ambedkar Nagar and Sangam Vihar police stations. The charges are similar to those against Sadar Bazar MLA Som Dutt—assault and battery. AAP leaders Rajesh Gupta from Wazirpur and Ved Prakash from Bawana are accused of unlawful demonstrations. Police registered a case against AAP in April when 41-year-old farmer Gajender Singh hung himself during the party’s anti-farmer bill rally at Jantar Mantar. A Special Investigative Team headed by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch is investigating.

Relatives of AAP legislators also have been showing off proxy power. Police have registered a case of rioting and assault against Sajjan Kumar, husband of AAP MLA Bandana Kumari from Shalimar Bagh, for threatening a Sarvodaya Vidyalaya School principal of dire consequences if his admission recommendations were not heeded. The principal Ranjeet Singh alleged that Kumar harassed, misbehaved and assaulted him.

On July 15, police registered a case against AAP MLA from Nangloi, Raghuvinder Shokeen’s wife Manisha, the principal of Rajender Public School, for beating two students with an iron pipe. She has been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act at Nihal Vihar Police station. On March 15, police registered a case at Mangolpuri police station against Vikram Birla, Raakhi Birla’s brother, for molesting and assaulting a woman.

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