Delhi

AAP spokesperson, two others sent to Tihar

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Their pleas will be taken up for hearing on Monday

A Delhi court on Saturday sent Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Dilip Pandey and two other party members to judicial custody for allegedly putting up posters in the constituencies of three Muslim Congress MLAs, accusing them of betraying the community by hobnobbing with the enemy to form a government in Delhi.

The posters had appeared in Okhla, Mustafabad and Seelampur, represented by Asif Mohammad Khan, Hasan Ahmad and Mateen Ahmad respectively.

The Jamia Nagar police had on Monday arrested the three accused — Mr. Pandey, Ram Kumar Jha and Javed Ahmed — and charged them with “wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot and destroying, damaging or defiling a place or worship or sacred object with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons” under Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code.

If convicted, the three can be awarded a maximum sentence of one year under Section 153 and two years under Section 295.

Allowing the prosecution plea for judicial custody, Metropolitan Magistrate Sheetal Chaudhary remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days. While granting the custody, the court said there was enough material on record to substantiate the charges of the prosecution that the posters could create enmity between communities.

The prosecution argued for judicial custody of the three submitting that the investigation was at the initial stage and that the accused could influence witnesses during further investigation into the allegations if they were released as they were influential people.

The prosecution charged that Mr. Javed Ahmed had e-mailed a copy of the poster design to Mr. Pandey and Mr. Jha , and that Mr. Jha had okayed the same. Again, Mr. Javed Ahmed e-mailed the final design of the poster to the two. However they did not respond to the e-mail, which Mr. Javed Ahmed interpreted as approval for the same.

Countering the prosecution submissions, Rahul Mehra, the counsel for the accused, argued that the case was politically motivated. Even for the sake of argument — that the role of the three was assumed in bringing out the poster — the police had not collected any evidence to reveal criminal intent on their part.

Further, the language of the poster did not reveal the charges the AAP leaders had been slapped with. The poster only painted the three MLAs as betrayer of the community and appealed for a gherao, which did not amount to criminality. The three accused also moved applications, which the court will take up for hearing on Monday.

Meanwhile, a Karkardooma court on Saturday sent the two AAP activists arrested by the Seemapuri police on similar charges to 14 days in judicial custody. The accused had on Friday been remanded to a day in police custody.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:49:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/aap-spokesperson-two-others-sent-to-tihar/article6230295.ece

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