A Mumbai court on Friday acquitted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former CEO of Bank of Scotland Meera Sanyal, activist Medha Patkar, and five Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members for organising a rally in the city during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The accused were booked under relevant sections for holding an unscheduled rally in Mankhurd without permission from the Mumbai Traffic Police.
Also, the Mumbai Police Act was levied upon them.
Mr. Kejriwal, Ms. Sanyal, and AAP members — Sundar Balkrishna Nayar, Anil Rathod, Shakeel Ahmed, Imtiyaz Ansari and Ram Bharadwaj — were present in the court.
Metropolitan Magistrate P.K. Deshpande acquitted all of them for lack of communication of refusal of permission, no promulgation of prohibitory orders, no proof of electronic evidence, irregularities in the investigation and delay in recording of statements.
The accused will have to execute a personal bond of Rs. 15,000 in cash.
‘At the last moment’
Advocate Santosh Ahmed, appearing for AAP members, said: “The rally was scheduled to take place from Mankhurd to Vikhroli and no objection certificates are were sought and issued by the police of Deonar and Mankhurd. However, at the last moment, the Deonar traffic police cancelled permission for the rally by the time the campaign reached Govandi. This was taken into consideration by the court and all the accused were acquitted.”
On January 20, 2018, Mr. Kejriwal had surrendered a bail bond of Rs. 10,000 and a surety at the Kurla magistrate court.
On December 9, 2015, the magistrate court had granted permanent exemption to Mr. Kejriwal from appearing at the court. Mumbai Lok Sabha member of AAP Satish Jain filed a surety in court.
Mr. Kejriwal had also approached the Bombay High Court in 2015 for quashing of the FIR against him and to exempt him from appearing before the Kurla magistrate court.
The AAP in a press release said: “Mr. Kejriwal was in Mumbai for a politically motivated and frivolous case filed against him in 2015, for holding a rally in Mankhurd without seeking the “ requisite permissions “ during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The judge found that the ‘denial of permission’ as claimed by the police was not given in writing. Moreover, the judge also found no evidence in support of the charges.”
At the last moment, the Deonar traffic police cancelled the permission for the rally by the time the campaign reached Govandi
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