Court frames charges against Kejriwal for 2014 dharna

A Delhi courttoday  framed charges against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and other AAP leaders Rakhi Birla and Somnath Bharti in a 2014 case of violating prohibitory orders and obstructing public servants. The court however discharged AAP’s Sanjay Singh and former party leader and journalist Ashutosh.

Kejriwal and other leaders had staged a ‘dharna’ outside Rail Bhavan on January 20, demanding action against police officials who had refused to raid an alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi on a complaint by AAP’s Somnath Bharti.

The six accused were chargesheeted for allegedly violating prohibitory orders and for obstructing public servants in discharge of their official duty. A detailed order on the sections under which charges were framed is awaited.

The Police had chargesheeted them under various sections of the IPC, including 145 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant).

The Police claim that Kejriwal had refused to comply with the prohibitory orders and instead marched towards Union home minister’s North Block office with 250-300 supporters in tow. Policemen– who tried to stop the protestors–were manhandled upon instigation by senior AAP leaders including Kejriwal, according to the chargesheet.

The entire procession then sat on a ‘dharna’ defying the prohibitory orders, Delhi Police had said. It further alleged that Kejriwal threatened to continue the ‘dharna’ for the next 10 days at Rail Bhawan ‘chowk’ and gave instigating speeches.

Framing of charges against top AAP leadership comes close on the heels of two sitting AAP MLAs getting sentenced in different cases.Sadar Bazar MLA Som Dutt was sent to six months in prison for assaulting a man ‘without provocation’ by a Delhi court on Thursday while Kondli legislature Manoj Kumar was awarded three months in jail for obstructing poll process on June 26.

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