Swati Maliwal Case: Delhi HC Reserves Order on Bibhav Kumar’s Plea

Swati Maliwal Case

The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its order on a plea by Bibhav Kumar, a close aide to Arvind Kejriwal, seeking to declare his arrest by the Delhi Police as illegal.

Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, decided to reserve the order after hearing both sides extensively.

Senior Advocate N. Hariharan, representing Bibhav Kumar, argued that the FIR was registered after a delay of three days.

“He was picked up illegally without being served notice under Section 41A from the CM’s residence. I (Bibhav Kumar) had filed an anticipatory bail plea, and while it was being heard around 4:00-4:30, he was arrested around 4:15. If the arrest happens in such a manner, the court must intervene. My fundamental right was exploited, and hence, I am here. The 41A procedure was flouted,” the Advocate stated.

“Section 41A mandates that the police issue a notice to the person accused of committing an offense before arresting them without a warrant. There was no urgency for the arrest, and he had not moved until the 18th. The FIR was registered on the 16th. Kumar was picked up at a time when he had already informed them that he was ready to cooperate with the investigation. The police picked him up at 12 and did not notify the arrest until 4:15. On the day the case was registered, the investigating officer seized all electronic evidence and records. Between the 16th and 17th, the forensics team was involved. How could I tamper with evidence on the 18th? There was no need to arrest me when I had agreed to cooperate,” he added.

Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Delhi Police, countered that the arrest memo included reasons for the arrest, and grounds of arrest in the remand application were provided. Information about the arrest was given to his wife, and the accused’s lawyer was present to oppose the bail and remand.

“The appointment of the petitioner was co-terminus with the CM. There was material against him based on which the LG terminated his services. He was not arrested in haste; if that were the case, he would have been arrested in Bombay. On the 17th, when the police visited the site, it was found that certain video recordings were missing, the phone was formatted, and video recordings leaked to the media were also missing. Based on this, the investigating officer decided to arrest him. We are fulfilling our duty, not acting as villains,” the Delhi Police lawyer stated.

“We are the custodians and are performing our duty. During the investigation, it was discovered that he took his mobile phone to Bombay and formatted it, which amounted to tampering with evidence and attempting to tamper with evidence,” the lawyer added. The lawyer further stated that there was positive evidence and material circumstances justifying the arrest.

Bibhav Kumar was arrested by the Delhi Police on May 18, in connection with an FIR registered in the Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal assault case. Through his plea, Bibhav Kumar also sought appropriate compensation for his alleged illegal arrest and called for departmental action against the officials involved in the decision to arrest him.

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