New Delhi: A court here on Saturday granted bail to AAP legislator Surinder Singh and his two associates, accused of assaulting an on-duty NDMC employee. His party termed the bail a “comprehensive rejection of the concocted police theory”. Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha granted bail to the three people, including the legislator from Delhi Cantonment constituency, asking them to furnish a personal bond of Rs.30,000 each and sureties of a like amount. “It has been averred that this case is actuated by political vendetta. Thus no prejudice is likely to be caused to the prosecution, in case the accused people are admitted to bail,” the court said. The court directed them neither to tamper with the evidence in the case nor influence witnesses. It asked them to join the investigation whenever necessary.
It observed that the accused were respectable people of society and there was no chance that they will flee from justice. It noted that statements of witnesses were already recorded and the accused were not required for custodial interrogation. The Aam Aadmi Party leader was arrested by Delhi Police on Friday night in connection with a case related to the beating up of an on-duty New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) employee who was clearing footpaths illegally occupied by hawkers. He was produced before the court on Saturday and police requested the magistrate to send the three to judicial custody to ensure security for witnesses. Police said Surinder Singh threatened witnesses and misused his position by assaulting an NDMC official. Surinder Singh’s counsel Ramesh Gupta moved his bail application, and said the AAP leader, being a former NSG commando, had served the nation during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and also sustained serious injuries at that time.
Stating that Surinder Singh will cooperate in the investigation, the counsel said the case was motivated by political vendetta, only to stifle and embarrass the ruling party of Delhi. The other two accused Surinder Singh’s driver Sanjay Singh and assistant Praveen also sought bail. “The truth is that no one among us assaulted anyone but the MLA tried to intervene against the bribery by the NDMC officials as reported by the workers,” said the bail application of the two others moved by their counsel Neha Rastogi and Rishikesh Kumar. Surinder Singh’s aides claimed that the case was false and fabricated. The three people were booked under relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on August 5, a few hours after attacking the NDMC employee. Surinder Singh was also charged with obstructing a government official from performing his duty and threatening his life under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. The incident took place when the legislator intervened in a routine checking drive by the NDMC in Tughlaq Road area of New Delhi. Police said fourth-grade NDMC employee Mukesh was beaten up by the legislator when Mukesh along with an official team was trying to clear the footpath occupied by hawkers.
Reacting to the court’s bail order, the AAP said it was a lesson for Delhi Police “to desist in future against indulging in politically motivated actions”. The party said the bail to Surinder Singh was a “comprehensive rejection of the concocted police theory”. “It was beyond any reasonable understanding as to why Commando Surinder Singh was suddenly arrested on Friday night, when he had already subjected himself to all sorts of questioning which police might have wanted in a case made out of fabricated allegations,” the AAP said in a statement.