Swati Maliwal case: Delhi High Court reserves order on Bibhav Kumar's plea against arrest [31.5.2024]

The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved order on the issue of maintainability of a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's close aide Bibhav Kumar challenging his arrest in connection with the alleged assault on AAP MP Swati Maliwal at the CM's residence earlier this month.

The senior counsel, appearing for the police, opposed issuance of notice on the petition on the grounds that it was not maintainable.

"Order reserved on maintainability," Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said after hearing the senior lawyers appearing on both the sides.

Kumar, in his plea, has sought a direction to declare his arrest as illegal and in gross violation of the provisions of Section 41A (notice of appearance before police officer) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and against the mandate of the law.

The Delhi Police's senior lawyer contended that the objection regarding compliance with section 41A has already been rejected by the trial court and the petitioner should, therefore, file a revision against that order instead of filing a writ petition.

There is an alternative remedy and the petitioner should exercise that, he said.

The senior counsel, appearing for Kumar, submitted his arrest was in violation of his fundamental rights as well as the law.

Stating that there was no necessity or reasons for the arrest, he argued that liberty of an individual cannot be taken lightly.

It was also stated that the petitioner was arrested with an "oblique motive" while his anticipatory bail was still pending in the trial court and he even volunteered to cooperate with the investigation.

In the petition, Kumar has also sought "appropriate compensation" for his "illegal" arrest and initiation of departmental action against the erring officials who were involved in the decision making of his arrest.

On Monday, Kumar's bail plea was dismissed by a sessions court here, which said there appeared no "pre-meditation" by Maliwal in lodging the FIR and that her allegations could not be "swiped away".

Rajya Sabha MP Maliwal has alleged that Kumar assaulted her at the chief minister's official residence on May 13.

Kumar was arrested on May 18 and sent to police custody for five days by a magisterial court, which observed that his anticipatory bail plea had become infructuous because of his arrest.

The FIR against Kumar was registered on May 16 under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions, including those related to criminal intimidation, assault or criminal force on a woman with the intent to disrobe, and attempt to commit culpable homicide.

01 Jun 2024