IAC protest in Delhi: Court to pronounce order on Mar 30

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Arvind Kejriwal Being Arrested
New Delhi, Mar 26: A court here said on Tuesday that its order on whether the Delhi Police should conduct more investigations in three riot cases involving Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal will be pronounced on Mar 30.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said that the order was not ready and hence posted the matter for Saturday. Earlier the court had reserved its order on Mar 18 after hearing the arguments put forth by both sides.

Prashant Bhushan, who was booked alongwith Kejriwal and 24 other activists by the Delhi Police for rioting and unlawful assembly during the protests staged by India Against Corruption (IAC) on Aug 26 last year, told the court that the imposition of Sec 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was a "clear abuse of process by the police". He said that the intent was to "harass" the activists.

The IAC members were protesting over the Coalgate issue on that day. One group of protesters squatted on the road outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence, another group shouted slogans against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi near her house while a third group tried to gherao the then BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

However, Arvind Kejriwal and his associate Gopal Rai were taken into custody from Race Course Road. Two other erstwhile IAC members Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas were arrested from Janpath. IAC supporters then foiled the Delhi Police's plan to detain Kejriwal and the others at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana.

The Delhi Police argued that the activists were detained for violating prohibitory orders but could not adequately explain why Sec 144 was imposed only in some areas of the national capital on Aug 26, 2012.

Three FIRs were registered against the IAC members under IPC sections. According to the police, the activists were guilty of rioting and unlawful assembly. The activists also damaged public property, the chargesheet said.

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