New Delhi: Attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not supporting Somnath Bharti, his lawyer said that Kejriwal should have taken a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister stands by his loyalists through "thick and thin".
In a letter to Kejriwal, Bharti's counsel Deepak Khosla demanded that the case be taken from Delhi Police and handed over to other agency for a "fair investigation".
He also sought a meeting with the Chief Minister to "advance" the objectives of a lawful and fair investigation while protecting the interests of Bharti.
"In this view of the matter, you are requested to kindly issue appropriate directions for deferment of investigation for 72 hours, so that my client may approach a competent Court of Law, and seek transfer of the investigation to some other agency."
Soon after sending the letter, Khosla also issued a clarification saying the remarks had got nothing to do with Bharti and was made by him in his "personal capacity, as a current and continuing supporter of AAP".
"...if there is one big distinction between Narendra Modi's style of functioning and yours - whether good or bad -is that he stands by his loyalists through thick and thin. Cases in point are Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani.... Whereas you (prematurely) shed your support for Somnath Bharti like a hot potato," the lawyer said.
Bharti failed to get relief from the Supreme Court today which directed him to surrender before the police in connection with the domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed against him by his wife.
Khosla said Bharti was not "evading" arrest.
Avoiding arrest was his (Bharti) right and "all the more so when he finds that he is being hounded by a distinctly partisan and biased investigating agency," the letter said.
"In the present context, given the unusual separation of powers in the State of NCT of Delhi and the different political masters the Delhi Police reports to, it is clear that your police force is acting on the dictates of its political masters who run the central government i.e. the BJP," it said.
Accusing the police of being "partisan" and using "patently-defamatory" statements against him, Khosla wondered "which sane person deliberately puts his head in the mouth of a hungry lion?"
"This also makes it clear that the police's intent behind custodial interrogation is purely to maliciously and vindictively harass my client...," he said.
"In the alternative, keeping in mind the provisions of Section 154(3) of the CrPC, you are requested to kindly direct the Police to re-assign the investigation for these 72 hours to an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, so that no abuse of power takes place by the lower echelons of the Delhi Police."
Khosla had written another letter to Police Commissioner B S Bassi, raising similar points on September 25.
(With inputs from agencies)