New Delhi, May 6: The Delhi High Court today granted protection from arrest till May 18 to AAP MLA Jarnail Singh who was accused of assaulting an MCD engineer and preventing him from demolishing an illegal construction in west Delhi.
A bench of Justice Sunita Gupta, however, asked the MLA from Tilak Nagar constituency, to appear before the investigating officer (IO) tomorrow at 4 pm and even thereafter as and when required" to join the ongoing probe.
The court also directed Singh "not to make, directly or indirectly, any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the accusation against him so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or to any police officer..."
It also said that the petitioner (Singh) shall not leave Delhi without prior permission of the court. "Under the circumstances, re-list on May 18. Till then, petitioner be not arrested," the court said.
The court's directions came on the plea by Singh who had moved the high court after the trial court had on May 2 refused him anticipatory bail in the case.
During arguments, senior advocate H S Phoolka contended that police were trying to shield 'corrupt' MCD official Athar Mustaffa who had gone to demolish an illegal construction in west Delhi area on April 28 even though he was not the area Junior Engineer (JE).
Countering Phoolka, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said Mustaffa was given charge on that day to head the demolition team and he had taken police and MCD personnel with him. Phoolka alleged that the JE had demanded money from the house-owner.
The ASG, however, termed it as a "cock and bull story" adding the house-owner had built a five-storey house without sanction plan and the MLA was trying to protect the unauthorised construction."They make big statements against corruption, why are they trying to shield wrongdoers?" the ASG said, adding "he is an MLA, supposed to uphold law, not promote anarchy".
Jain also said that custodial interrogation of Singh is required for recovery of the torn demolition order, mobile phone of the MLA and to elicit the details of persons accompanying him who helped him in causing obstruction to the government officials in discharging their official duties.