Police oppose Bibhav Kumar's plea in Delhi HC against arrest in Maliwal assault case

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Bibhav Kumar Swati Maliwal

Bibhav Kumar (L); Swati Maliwal (R)

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Monday opposed in Delhi High Court a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar, challenging his arrest in connection with the alleged assault on AAP MP Swati Maliwal.

The police submitted Kumar was not arrested "in haste" and that it had not faulted in any manner.

Contending that his arrest was illegal, Kumar's counsel said there was a delay in lodging the FIR and he was arrested on May 18, the day he gave an application to the police to voluntarily join the investigation.

Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, after hearing the arguments of both sides, reserved the order.

During the hearing, the counsel representing Kumar contended that he was picked up illegally from the residence of the chief minister without any prior notice.

The Delhi Police's counsel argued that this was not the first criminal case lodged against Kumar.

The Noida police had earlier lodged an FIR against him, he stated.

He argued that Kumar formatted his mobile phone which amounted to tampering of evidence and added that serious allegations were levelled against the investigating agency by the accused and, if such things were permitted, it would be difficult for the authorities to proceed in matters in future.

Kumar, currently in judicial custody, allegedly assaulted AAP Rajya Sabha member Maliwal at Kejriwal's official residence on May 13. He was arrested on May 18.

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

Kumar, in his plea, also sought a direction to declare his arrest as illegal and in gross violation of the provisions of Section 41A (notice of appearance before police officer) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and against the mandate of the law.

He claimed he was arrested with an "oblique motive" while his anticipatory bail plea was pending in the trial court, in violation of his fundamental rights as well as the law.

Kumar sought "appropriate compensation" for his "illegal" arrest and initiation of departmental action against the erring officials involved in the decision-making of his arrest.

The Tis Hazari court on June 7 refused to grant bail to Kumar, saying he was facing "grave and serious" charges and that there was apprehension 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" on Maliwal's part in getting the FIR lodged and that her allegations could not be "swiped away".