DELHI DISTRICT COURT HOLDS AAP LEADER SOM NATH BHARTI AND ASSOCIATES GUILTY OF COMMITTING CRIMINAL OFFENCE
The Rouse Avenue #DistrictCourt, #NewDelhi has passed a recent Judgment dated 22-01-2021 in State vs. Som Nath Bharti and Others and held the Aam Aadmi Party (#AAP) Leader and Member of Legislative Assembly (#MLA), Mr. Som Nath Bharti (the Accused) and his Associates guilty of committing offences of rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, assaulting or using criminal force on #PublicServant and for mischief causing damage to public property of All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi (#AIIMS), New Delhi.
In this case, Mr. R.S Rawat, the Chief Security Officer of AIIMS, South, New Delhi (the Complainant) filed a Complaint dated 09-09-2016 at the Hauz Khas Police Station, alleging that the Accused persons along with 300 associates had forcefully entered the AIIMS campus by breaking the fence of the boundary wall on 09-09-2016. Additionally, they abused and assaulted the security personnel at AIIMS, disrupted the peace in the Hospital and caused disturbance to the patients and employees of AIIMS. Based on the said Complaint, F.I.R. dated 10-09-2016 was registered.
Upon completion of investigation, the Police filed a Chargesheet under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (CrPC) before the Hon’ble Court. The Hon’ble Magistrate passed an Order dated 20-11-2018, whereby, the following charges were framed against the Accused for various offences under the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 (the Act):
- Section 147 of IPC (Punishment for rioting) read with Section 149 IPC (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object)
- Section 323 IPC (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 353 IPC (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) read with Section 149 IPC (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object)
- Section 3 of the Act (Mischief causing damage to public property)
The Hon’ble Court made the following observations in this case:
1- Based on the testimonies of the Prosecution Witnesses and evidences put forth, it has been established that the Accused persons and their 300 unknown associates were present at the alleged time and date at AIIMS, and that they indulged in the unlawful act of breaking the fence, stone pelting at the Security Guards, as a result of which, the Guards sustained injuries. Hence, the aforesaid charges of rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and mischief causing damage to public property have been proved by the Prosecution.
2- Further, AIIMS Security Personnel are considered to be ‘Public Servant’ under Clause 12 of Section 21 IPC, as they get remuneration from Government Agency/AIIMS for performance of public duty. Hence, the aforesaid charges of assault or use of criminal force by the Accused persons to deter AIIMS Security Personnel (Public Servants) from discharging their public duty, has been proved by the Prosecution.
Clause 12 of Section 21 IPC is reproduced below:
(a) in the service or pay of the Government or remunerated by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty by the Government;
(b) in the service or pay of a local authority, a corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act or a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956).]
Thus, as the Prosecution duly proved all the aforesaid charges beyond reasonable doubt, the Hon’ble Court held the Accused persons guilty and convicted them for rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, assaulting Public Servants and for mischief causing damage to AIIMS property. The Hon’ble Court has reportedly sentenced the Accused MLA to two years of imprisonment on 23-01-2021.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer