A Delhi Court on Tuesday remanded one-day police custody to two accused Vineet Bajpai and Deepak Singh and sent the other four accused including Advocate Ashwini Upadhayay to two days of judicial custody in connection with inflammatory sloganeering near Jantar Mantar recently.
Delhi Police has arrested six people- Ashwani Upadhyay, Vinod Sharma, Deepak Singh, Vineet Bajpai, Preet Singh, Deepak Kumar in connection with inflammatory sloganeering near Jantar Mantar.
They were presented via video conferencing before Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Tanvi Khurana.
The Delhi Police has sought three days custody of two accused Vineet and Deepak Singh and also moved an application seeking judicial custody of the other four accused including Ashwini Upadhyay
Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Tanvi Khurana allowed police to quiz accused Deepak Singh and Vineet Bajpai of one day and said that one-day police custody remand is sufficient for the purpose mentioned by Police.
Police have sought police custody remand for three days in order to unearth the conspiracy behind the incident and to get the mobile recovered along with the identification of other accused persons.
Police have also filed an application seeking judicial Custody remand of accused Ashwani Upadhyay, Preet Singh, Vinod Sharma, and Deepak Kumar to prevent the accused persons from committing any further offense, for proper investigation, to prevent the accused from tampering with the evidence or from threatening or influencing the witnesses in the present matter. It is also mentioned that the judicial custody remand is also required so that the accused may not create any unruly situation affecting the public tranquility.
During the course of the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court that DCP New Delhi received an email by Ashwini Upadhyay seeking permission for a gathering of people at Jantar Mantar but permission was not given considering ongoing parliament sessions and ongoing preparation for upcoming independence day.
Prosecutor Shrivastava told the Court that despite having no permission to conduct the protest or the event, at the time when the Parliament is in session, Independence Day is right around the corner and the country is still struggling from the pandemic, the accused persons called huge gathering wherein protocols for Covid-19 were not followed and several slogans spreading communal hatred were shouted.
He further mentioned that the incident has been captured in various cameras and the videos have now become viral further spreading religious enmity. He prayed that the accused out of whom one is a highly respected practicing lawyer from the Supreme Court violated the law for organizing such an event and hence, judicial custody remand may be granted for all the four accused.
This was countered by defence lawyer Ashwini Kumar Dubey, appearing for Upadhyay by submitting that he was not present on the spot when inflammatory slogans were shouted. Upadhyay, himself submitted that he has informed the police about the viral video. Advocate Dubey urged the Court to watch the video of the event to ascertain the role of his client.
Advocate Dubey also objected the same on the ground that the accused has clean antecedents, is a highly respectable member of the Bar, and is a social reformer. He further argued that there is no merit in the application filed seeking judicial custody of the accused.
He also told the court that Upadhyay has joined the investigation.
Upadhyay, who was presented before the Court via video-conferencing told the court he was not the organizer and along with him, an IPS officer and Mahant of Kalkaji temple were present in the event and they left the Venue as soon as the crowd started swell up.
During the course of the hearing, Upadhyay also filed his bail application, which the court has listed for further hearing on August 11 before the concerned Court.
Earlier in the day, police had summoned and questioned all the accused in the matter and said that the matter is being handled as per law and any communal disharmony will not be tolerated.
On August 9, a First Information Report had been booked against an unknown group of people in connection with the alleged "raising inciting slogans" at Jantar Mantar.
Ashwini Upadhyay had called on a march "Colonial Laws and Make Uniform Laws" on Sunday where the alleged "objectionable slogans" were raised.
The DCP of Delhi, Deepak Yadav had told, "People who had gathered at Jantar Mantar had no permission. It has come to our due notice that some people raised inciting and objectionable slogans as well. We have also received a video and have registered FIR in the case."
"We are carrying out further investigation into the matter. Necessary action will be taken at the earliest." added the DCP.
Delhi Police senior official earlier told ANI that they are trying to ascertain the authenticity of the video. "After verifying the video strict legal action will be taken against those individuals who have done such act," said the official.
Ashwini Upadhyay, later issued a video on Monday on his Twitter account stating that the purported video on the basis of which an FIR has been lodged has been made to defame him.
"I have filed a complaint regarding the viral video to the Delhi police and have asked them to investigate the matter. If the video is real, the people seen in the video must be arrested," Upadhyay said in the video.
He said, "#UniteIndiaMovement was launched to repeal Colonial Laws and Make Uniform Laws Programme, it was over at 12:15 pm. The purported video was tweeted in the evening by some miscreants to malign and defame this noble cause".
"Whether the video is real or fake, it will be known after investigation but one thing is certain that it has been made to defame me," Upadhyay said in his tweet on Monday.
Further probe in the matter is underway.
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