New Delhi: A city court on Monday dismissed the bail plea of a man who had hurled a shoe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference here last week, saying a strong deterrent is needed for such acts.
Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra denied relief to 28-year-old Ved Prakash, a national general secretary of Aam Aadmi Sena, and sent him to 14 days in judicial custody.
"One may have difference of opinion with someone but one needs to respect the constitutional authority.
"The Chief Minister was elected by the people. I express my displeasure over the act. A strong deterrent is needed for such acts," the magistrate said while pronouncing the order of bail application.
Prakash was produced before the court after expiry of one-day judicial custody. At the outset, the court asked Prakash about his offence.
To this, he said he had carried out a sting operation on alleged irregularities in distribution of CNG stickers at the centres and had informed Delhi government about it, but no action was taken.
He claimed he was angry with Kejriwal for not taking action against those involved in alleged irregularities and that was the reason he hurled the shoe.
The magistrate disapproved his behaviour saying he could have vindicated grievances through legal mechanism.
"Apart from the Chief Minister office, there are other authorities also to hear your grievances. Instead of taking such a blatant step, you should have approached the other authorities," the court said, adding there should be deterrent punishment so that people do not dare to commit such acts.
The bail plea was opposed by the prosecutor who argued that there was evidence to show that the shoe was thrown on the Chief Minister and Prakash should have approached proper authorities with his grievances. He said such incidents are assault on democracy.
During the arguments, advocate Pradeep Rana, who appeared for Prakash, sought bail on the ground that apart from section 353 IPC, which says assault to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, all other provisions invoked on him were bailable.
He argued that the video of the incident showed that shoe was thrown in the air just to grab the attention and there was no intention of hitting the Chief Minister.
Rana said such kind of acts were not acceptable in a democracy and were condemnable. He pleaded that the accused be released on bail as he has been taught a lesson and has remained in jail.
Advocate Bharat Sisodia, who represented complainant M C Maurya, Deputy Director (Press) Directorate of Information and Publicity in Delhi Government, also intervened and argued that the accused should not be granted bail as he has attacked a sovereign government.
He alleged that there was political conspiracy behind the incident and police investigation was required as to how the man had entered the high security zone. Prakash, who was arrested on April 9, had first interrupted Kejriwal when he was briefing reporters at the media centre of Delhi Secretariat about the rollout of the second phase of odd-even scheme and thrown a shoe and a CD of the alleged sting operation at the Chief Minister.
The shoe had not hit Kejriwal as it was quickly deflected by an official standing near the Chief Minister who had continued with his press conference. The attacker was thrashed by AAP volunteers before he was whisked away by the police after the incident. Police had said he is a resident of Begampur in North-West Delhi and was a property dealer.
Prakash had alleged that CNG stickers, which are required for CNG-run cars to get exemption from the restrictions of the odd-even scheme, were being sold for Rs 1,000 each at a CNG station near CGO complex in Lodhi Road and claimed to have done a sting operation about it on April 7. A young woman had earlier thrown ink at Kejriwal at a public rally on January 17 held here to celebrate the success of the first phase of odd-even scheme.