A Delhi court on Tuesday denied bail to eight members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, who were arrested for vandalizing the home of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30. Bar and Bench reported. The outfit is the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Denying them bail, Extra Sessions Judge Naveen Kumar Kashyap said the accused men had intentionally exceeded their basic right to peaceful protest.
“There is no doubt that the right to assemble and demonstrate by a political party is a fundamental right,” said Justice Kashyap, according to Live Act. “But having noted it, it can also be noted that this right is subject to certain restrictions and not unchecked.”
The court said the accused men had no regard for instructions issued by the High Court which said no demonstrations were permitted outside the chief minister’s house. Kashyap also said the defendants violated instructions from police officials at three different security checkpoints.
“Therefore, when an individual behaves in a disharmonious manner ushering in a disorderly thing that society disapproves of, legal consequences are inevitable,” Judge Kashyap said.
Lead attorney Kirti Uppal, appearing on behalf of the defendants, told the court that the protesters had no intention of harming anyone, The Indian Express reported. “It was just a protest which is a right of every citizen and political party under the constitution,” Uppal said.
Delhi police told the court they had denied permission to Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader Tejasvi Surya and other BJP leaders who had sought to protest outside Kejriwal’s home.
Police also said they guided protesters to a designated location where they could protest. “But they started moving towards the ‘first layer’ of barricades and started pushing the barricades to break the chain,” police told the court.
On March 30, the Aam Aadmi party alleged that BJP members broke CCTV cameras and security barriers at Kejriwal’s home in the presence of Delhi police.
In CCTV camera footage shared by the party on Twitter, a group of people – some of whom were wearing saffron scarves and head coverings – could be seen breaking through a security barrier outside Kejriwal’s house and beating at the main door.
The Delhi Police had filed a complaint against unidentified persons in connection with the attack under sections 186 of the Indian Penal Code (obstructing a public official in the performance of public duties), 188 (disobeying a duly ordered enacted by an official), 353 (criminal assault or violence to deter an official from performing his duties) and 332 (willfully injure to deter an official from performing his duties).
A case was also registered under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The BJP staged protests against Kejriwal in connection with his March 24 remarks on the Hindi film The Kashmir Files.
Kejriwal had said that the makers of the film should release it on YouTube video streaming platform so that everyone can watch it for free. He had made the comment in response to demands from BJP leaders that the film should be exempted from entertainment tax in Delhi.