He is in judicial custody for allegedly making casteist remarks
The Delhi Police on Friday opposed bail for BJP MLA Kulwant Rana claiming he was a habitual offender involved in other criminal cases and that it did not arrest him during pendency of the probe fearing law and order disturbances. Mr. Rana is in judicial custody in a case registered against him for allegedly making casteist remarks against a party worker.
Wondering why the investigating officer (IO) in the case was opposing bail to the accused despite not requiring his custody during investigation, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said the police would have to justify their assessment regarding breach of peace if Mr. Rana was arrested.
“This conduct of the IO is self-contradictory. If the custody of the accused was necessary why then did he not proceed to arrest him. Assuming what the IO has stated is correct, and there was an apprehension of breach of law and order in the eventuality of the arrest of the applicant/accused, then it is for the IO to justify to this court this apprehension so entertained by him. Any apprehension by a public servant / IO regarding breach of law and order has to be on the basis of some cogent material justifying this conclusion and assessment by such officer. I am sure that the IO would have shared this material with his senior officers and the decision not to arrest the accused would have been taken by the investigating agency after reasonably assessing and applying their mind to such a material.”
ASJ Ms. Lau said a decision taken by a public servant, including investigating agencies, can not be whimsical and arbitrary and that the court could not permit the investigating agency to follow one set of laws for the “rich, influential and powerful and another for the poor, the marginalised, and those who cannot pull strings or have no access to the powerful”.
The Judge directed the police to bring before her case dairies along with any other material which the IO had placed before the senior officers to justify his assessment regarding breach of law and order in case of arrest of the accused.
During arguments on bail, counsel for Mr. Rana alleged that the case was politically motivated and false allegations have been made against the accused by the complainant at the behest of his political rivals by abusing and misusing the provisions of the provisions of SC/ST (PoA) Act and to damage his political career.
While opposing bail on the ground of nature of allegations involved, the police also told the court that Mr. Rana was a “habitual offender having no respect for law” and that he was involved in two other criminal cases of obstructing public servants, unlawful assembly and assault. The police also said there could be more cases against him, which the court has asked the agency to confirm.
The bail arguments will continue on Friday. The complainant in the case came to court with police security. He refused to accept a counsel to represent him and said he was happy with the public prosecutor arguing the case for the State.