Swati Maliwal assault case: Court rejects bail plea of Kejriwal aide BibhavKumar

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New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) A court here on Friday dismissed the bail plea of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar for allegedly assaulting AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal, saying he was facing "grave and serious" charges and that there was an apprehension that he could influence witnesses.

Kumar who was sent to 14 days judicial custody last Friday, has been accused of assaulting Maliwal on May 13 at the Chief Minister's official residence.

He had moved the court for bail for a second time. His first bail plea was dismissed on May 27.

Special Judge Ekta Gauba Mann said, "...The investigation is at initial stage and there is fear in the mind of victim regarding her security as well as security of her family members as she is receiving continuous threats. There is also every apprehension that applicant or accused Bibhav Kumar would influence the witnesses, if at liberty." "So, I do not find any merit in the present bail application," the judge added while dismissing the plea.

The court said Kumar allegedly misbehaved with a woman member of the Aam Aadmi Party at Kejriwal's official residence where the party members and general public can meet the chief minister.

"This creates fear and panic in the mind of general public to meet their leader. Thus, there are grave and serious allegations against applicant or accused Bibhav Kumar," it added.

Counsel for Kumar said around 21 days had elapsed since Kumar's arrest and his custodial interrogation was not required.

He said Kumar was not an influential person as he was merely a personal secretary in the rank of a clerk, and his appointment was on "a co-terminus basis" or on the recommendation of Kejriwal.

Though his service was terminated one month before the alleged incident, Kumar had remained a PS in a "personal capacity", the advocate said.

Maliwal has said after she lodged the complaint, she was ostracised by the entire Aam Aadmi Party and some party leaders were shaming or assassinating her character.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava said Kumar was a "very influential" person and investigation had revealed that no register was maintained of people meeting Kejriwal. The general public and even MLAs could meet the chief minister only after seeking an appointment from Kumar.

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

Kumar was arrested on May 18. He was sent to police custody for five days the same day by a magisterial court, which observed that his anticipatory bail plea had become infructuous because of his arrest.

On May 24, he was sent to four days judicial custody, following which he was again remanded in police custody for three days.

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

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