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The Delhi High Court granted bail to AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal in the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash assault case with a warning that any such illegal activity in future would lead to cancellation of his bail.
The judge also noted that the case was a reflection of "trust deficit to the hilt" between the members of the Delhi Assembly and the bureaucrats and suggested that the Delhi Government should videograph the meetings between legislators and bureaucrats to see that no unforeseen incident occurs in future and maintain transparency.
Justice Mukta Gupta made it clear that if Jarwal himself or through someone else intimidated, harassed or obstructed the lawful activities of Anshu Prakash, the Delhi Police and the chief secretary would be entitled to seek cancellation of his bail.
The court also asked him not to tamper with evidence or intimidate or approach the witnesses in any manner.
"This FIR being the third FIR against the petitioner (Jarwal) for assault on a public servant, in case the petitioner indulges in any such illegal act in future, the bail granted to him would be liable to be cancelled," it said.
The high court imposed other general conditions that Jarwal will not leave the country without prior permission of the court and in case of change of his residential address, it shall be intimated to the concerned court through an affidavit.
The court noted that the offences invoked against the MLA entailed maximum punishment of up to three years and said his custodial interrogation was not required as police remand has not been granted by the trial court.
"In view of the nature of allegations, the sentence provided for the offences invoked if convicted after trial and the fact that there is no likelihood of the petitioner fleeing away from justice, this court deems it fit to grant bail to Jarwal," it said.
The court said there was also no apprehension that he would not be available for trial or flee away from justice.
"The concern of the complainant (chief secretary) that efforts are being made to harass him can also not be said to be without any basis for the reason (that) though initially the senior counsel for Jarwal stated that he is not a member of the committee which issued notice to the complainant, however, on being confronted with the notice of the meeting even though not signed by him, it notes the petitioner to be member of the said committee.
"Faced with this situation, the senior counsel for Jarwal stated that he is willing to furnish any undertaking as required by this court, to ensure that no harassment will be caused to the complainant by the petitioner or any other person through him. Thus the bail, if required to be granted to Jarwal, has to be with stringent conditions," it said.
The bail plea of Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, who was also arrested in the case on February 21, is pending before the court.
A magisterial court had earlier denied bail to both of them, saying the matter cannot be treated in "a casual and routine manner" while dubbing them as "history-sheeters".
Jarwal had then moved a sessions court and was again denied the relief with the court saying the situation could not be more alarming when lawmakers do not respect the rule of law.
The court was earlier informed by the bureaucrat's counsel that after the February 19 incident, he was served with a notice on March 1 by the Privileges Committee of the Delhi Assembly asking him to appear before it on March 5 with regard to a complaint against him.
On March 6, he was served with a notice by the Assembly's Question and Reference Committee with a direction that he should present himself before it on March 8.
The chief secretary has challenged both the notices before the high court. The high court had directed the Question and Reference Committee not to insist for the chief secretary's appearance as the matter was pending before it.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)