News Update: Delhi Court Remands CM’s Aide Bibhav Kumar to 14-Day Judicial Custody in Assault Case

Published on: May 31, 2024 20:43 IST

Delhi’s Tis Hazari Dist Court remanded Bibhav Kumar, an aide to the Chief Minister, to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the alleged assault on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Swati Maliwal. Kumar was presented before the court after completing a three-day police custody granted on May 28. He had been arrested by Delhi Police on May 18 in relation to the case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal ordered Kumar’s judicial custody, with the next court appearance scheduled for June 14. The Delhi Police requested the 14-day custody to ensure proper investigation, prevent evidence tampering, and avoid any influence or threats to witnesses. Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) submitted these reasons for the custody extension.

Defence counsels Rajat Bhardwaj and Karan Sharma opposed the plea, arguing that Kumar is incapable of interfering with the investigation or tampering with evidence. They emphasized that he cannot induce witnesses.

On May 28, APP Atul Srivastava noted that Kumar had formatted his mobile phone and refused to provide the password. An interim forensic report on CCTV footage indicated Kumar entering an area with a DVR for 20 minutes, suggesting possible evidence tampering. The APP also mentioned that Kumar was seen with two mobile phones and videographed the incident, according to the complainant.

In response, defence counsel Rajiv Mohan contended that there was a delay in filing the complaint and the FIR, suggesting potential evidence fabrication by the prosecution. Mohan argued that there was no weapon involved and that the mobile data could be retrieved without the accused’s custody. He also questioned the necessity of the custody, stating that there was no substantial evidence of the phone being formatted without a forensic report.

The defence further argued that the accused cannot be compelled to share his password and that the evidence presented by the prosecution was insufficient. They highlighted the absence of footage from the incident’s location and claimed there was no direct evidence linking Kumar to the injuries reported in the medical legal certificate (MLC), which was filed three days after the alleged incident.

The court, considering the arguments, remanded Bibhav Kumar to judicial custody until June 14, allowing the police to continue their investigation under judicial oversight.

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