Delhi HC Seeks Police's Stand On Bibhav Kumar's Bail In Assault Case Involving Swati Maliwal

Justice Amit Sharma's vacation bench issued notice on the bail plea and instructed the Delhi Police to submit a status report.

Arvind Kejriwal's close aide Bibhav Kumar | Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court, on Friday, sought the city police's response regarding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar's bail plea in the case related to the alleged assault on AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal.

Justice Amit Sharma's vacation bench issued notice on the bail plea and instructed the Delhi Police to submit a status report.

Kumar, presently in judicial custody, allegedly assaulted Maliwal on May 13 at Kejriwal's official residence. He was arrested on May 18.

An FIR was registered against Kumar on May 16 under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal intimidation, assault or criminal force on a woman with the intent to disrobe, and attempt to commit culpable homicide.

Kumar's counsel submitted that there was no reason to sustain his continued custody and urged the court to hear the matter next in June itself as it concerned his "personal liberty".

"I am in custody for a month in an offence like this where there are no injuries... What is it that they need to investigate in relation to a bodily offence? The case is simply this that she was assaulted when he went to the residence," he argued.

The senior lawyer appearing for the Delhi Police said the investigation into the matter was still going on.

"It is not as simple. FSL is pending with respect to the DVRs and mobile phones," the court was told.

The court listed the matter for further hearing in the first week of July and asked police to state the status of the investigation.

The Tis Hazari court had on June 7 refused to grant bail to Kumar, saying he was facing "grave and serious" charges and that there was an apprehension that he could influence witnesses.

Kumar's first bail plea was dismissed on May 27 by another sessions court which said there appeared to be no "pre-meditation" by Maliwal in lodging the FIR and that her allegations could not be "swiped away".

In his plea before the high court, Kumar has said that the trial court failed to consider that his further custody was not required as all the evidence has been collected by the investigating officer and statements of witnesses have also been recorded.

"While passing the bail rejection order, the additional sessions judge failed to consider the fact that all the evidence in relation to the aforesaid FIR has been collected by the IO and has also recorded the statements of the witnesses therefore, the custody of the petitioner is not required and no useful purpose shall be served by keeping the petitioner in the judicial custody," the plea stated.

The petition further said the present instance was a "classic case" of abuse of criminal machinery as although both Kumar and Maliwal lodged complaints against each other, only her matter was being investigated.

"The complainant is an influential person being the Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and no investigation is being done on the part of complaint given by the petitioner regarding breach by the complainant is demonstrated by the Breach Report prepared at the date of incident by the Officials deputed at the CM Camp Office," the plea said.

"The entire allegations, as levelled by the complainant are not only unbelievable/unnatural, but clearly depict the falsity in the same. The complainant realised that her act of misbehaviour/misconduct/trespass had been recorded in CCTV cameras and ... (that) pressure and threats are of no help for meeting with the Hon'ble Chief Minister, accordingly she left the premises by threatening the Complainant and the staff members of dire consequences," it alleged.

Kumar's petition challenging his arrest on the grounds of being illegal and in gross violation of the provisions of the law, including Section 41A (notice of appearance before police officer) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is also pending in the high court.