Delhi Assembly Speaker gets six months’ jail for trespassing


Court says offence committed for political reasons needs to be dealt with strictly

Observing that “the offence committed for political reasons and any anarchist behaviour needs to be dealt strictly”, a Delhi court on Friday sentenced Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, his son Sumit Goel and two others to six months’ imprisonment each in a trespassing case.

However, the court granted them bail on furnishing a bail bond of ₹10,000 with sureties of a like amount by each convict.

Counsel for the Speaker urged the court to award a lenient punishment and release him on probation keeping in view his old age and his status as the incumbent presiding officer of the House. But Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal rejected the plea.

Refused leniency

“Today, he is 72 years of age. But it is also true that when he committed this offence in 2015, he must be around 68 years. If he can commit an offence at the age of 68, can he ask for leniency now citing his age,” Mr. Vishal said.

“To the submission by his counsel that he had entered the house as a whistle-blower, the ACMM said: “I wonder whether whistle-blowers have a right to raid and trespass into private houses. The rest of the convicts plead for leniency only on the basis of their age and family circumstances. But were these not almost similar on the date of incident.”

“All these convicts committed the offence with various other persons as a mob. When a mob commits an offence as one person, it becomes dangerous and a challenge for law and order in the society,” the ACMM said.

“The offence in this case was not committed out of any compulsion, poverty or adventurism. It was committed for political reasons, which is not a trivial matter. Any anarchist behaviour which challenges the rule of law needs to be dealt strictly,” he further stated.

The court had on October 11 held them guilty of barging into the house of a builder late in the night at Vivek Vihar in east Delhi and ransacking it, a day before the polling for the Delhi Assembly in 2015. The accused had entered the house alleging that liquor bottles had been stored inside for distribution among voters. Builder’s labourers were staying there at that time.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:52:51 AM |

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