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Court frames charges against Arvind Kejriwal, others

Court frames charges against Arvind Kejriwal, othersCourt frames charges against Arvind Kejriwal, others
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A Delhi court Friday put Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti on trial for violating prohibitory...

New Delhi: A Delhi court Friday put Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti on trial for violating prohibitory orders in the national capital and obstructing public servants during an agitation in 2014.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said there was sufficient evidence to conclude that a prima facie case and "grave suspicion" was made out against them. The court framed the charges after advocate Irshad, appearing for Kejriwal and Sisodia, pleaded not guilty on their behalf and claimed trail.

Bharti, who was present before the court, also pleaded not guilty. The charges against MLA Rakhi Birla were, however, not framed since she was not present. The court directed her to be present before it on July 8, when the charges will be framed.

The court framed charges under section 143 and 145 (both related to unlawful assembly) and 188 (disobedience to an order by a public servant) of IPC, and under section 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of IPC, read with section 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC.

"As far as the accused Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla and Somnath Bharti are concerned, there is sufficient evidence to come to a conclusion that there exists a prima facie case and grave suspicion about the commission of the aforesaid discussed offences," the court said.

It however discharged AAP leader Sanjay Singh and its former member Ashutosh, saying that "there is no evidence on record against them regarding their participation in the aforementioned offences". All the six accused were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police in connection with the case.

They were earlier granted bail by the court. Kejriwal and other leaders had staged a 'dharna' outside Rail Bhavan demanding action against police officials who had refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi on January 20, 2014.

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