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Kanhaiya Kumar assault case: Court grants bail to accused

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NEW DELHI, May 22: A court here has granted bail to the 41-year-old man arrested for allegedly assaulting and splashing Congress Lok Sabha candidate Kanhaiya Kumar with ink, saying it has to balance the state’s interest of maintaining public order with the accused’s right to personal liberty.

On May 17, when Kumar, the Congress candidate for the North East Delhi seat, was coming out of ally Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office in New Usmanpur after a meeting with local Councillor Chhaya Sharma, a group of people attacked him. The Delhi Police arrested one of the accused, Ajay Kumar, on Tuesday morning.

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Metropolitan Magistrate Arushi Parwal heard the city police’s application seeking Ajay Kumar’s judicial custody for 14 days on Tuesday. The investigating officer (IO) said it was necessary to prevent him from committing similar offences.

Ajay Kumar’s counsel, however, vehemently opposed the plea and sought bail for his client.

The magistrate noted that the offences alleged included criminal intimidation, assaulting a woman with the intent of outraging her modesty and causing hurt, all of which carried the maximum punishment of up to seven years imprisonment.

She said, “At the time of deciding bail application, the court has to balance two conflicting interests — on one hand, the presumption of the accused’s innocence and his right to personal liberty and on the other hand, the state’s interest in the maintenance of public order and protecting the integrity of the investigation.”

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“Considering that the offences invoked in the present FIR are punishable with less than seven years imprisonment, clean antecedents of the accused, submissions made, circumstances of the case and keeping in view the judicial precedents on arrest and bail, application for bail of the accused is allowed,” she said.

The court directed Ajay Kumar to furnish bail bonds of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount for his release.

Other bail conditions included an undertaking that the accused will not indulge in similar offence upon his release, not tamper with evidence, cooperate in the investigation and not contact the complainant.

In her complaint, AAP councillor Chhaya Sharma had said, “Some persons came and put garland around Kanhaiya Kumar. After garlanding him, some persons threw ink and tried to assault him.”

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Sharma added that when she tried to intervene, the group misbehaved with her and issued threats.

Based on the councillor’s complaint, an FIR was lodged under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. (PTI)






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