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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Swati Maliwal case: Assault could have been fatal, Bibhav Kumar evasive, says Delhi Police

The remand application said that Maliwal's testimony before the magistrate was corroborated by the medical evidence

PTI New Delhi Published 19.05.24, 09:58 AM
AAP MP Swati Maliwal leaves Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, in New Delhi, Friday, May 17, 2024

AAP MP Swati Maliwal leaves Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, in New Delhi, Friday, May 17, 2024 PTI

The Delhi Police in its remand paper submitted late Saturday evening seeking seven days custody of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar regarding the alleged assault on AAP Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal said that it was a "serious case" where the "brutal assault" could have turned "fatal".

Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal, who sent Kumar to five-day police custody, was told by the investigating agency that he did not cooperate with the police and had been evasive in his replies.

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"This is a very serious case where a Member of Parliament, a public figure, has been brutally assaulted which could have been fatal. Despite specific questions, the accused has not cooperated in the investigation and has been evasive in his replies," said the remand paper signed by North District Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Anjitha Chepyala.

The remand application said that Maliwal's testimony before the magistrate was corroborated by the medical evidence.

According to Maliwal's allegations, Kumar screamed, threatened and used abusive language against her, besides being "brutally assaulting", dragging and banging her head on a centre table, the plea said.

It said that the "most vital evidence" was the digital video record (DVR) of the spot but it was yet to be provided to the police.

According to the plea seeking police custody, a junior engineer in the CM's residence, after admitting that he did not have access to the place where the DVR and CCTV cameras were installed, provided a video of the dining room but it was later found to be blank at the time of the alleged incident.

The remand application said that on Saturday, Kumar was present at the chief minister's residence and after being questioned, provided evasive replies.

"His presence at the scene of the crime (SOC) raises a strong possibility of tampering with crucial evidence, including electronic evidence. The accused is an influential person and having worked more than nine years in an authoritative position can influence, and pressure the witnesses in the CM house," it said.

Explaining the reasons for police custody, the application said after being terminated as the CM's personal secretary in April 2024, Kumar was still working in the CM's residence and needed to be quizzed about the capacity and authority under which he was working.

It said another case was registered against Kumar in Noida for allegedly assaulting an on-duty public servant.

"Since a brutal attack is made on a public figure who is a sitting MP, a sustained interrogation is very much required to find out the motive behind brutal attack and to ascertain the conspiracy angles or involvement of some person or organisation having inimical to our country," the paper said.

It said that according to Kumar, he had formatted his mobile in Mumbai on Friday and that his mobile phone was password protected.

"Without the personal presence and assistance of the accused, as this instrument is password protected, the phone and its apps cannot be accessed. Also, he has to be taken to an expert to retrieve the mobile data and to ascertain the factum of formatting of the mobile phone of the accused, which is an important piece of evidence," the plea for remand said.

It said that Kumar could threaten witnesses and tamper evidence as he was in a "position of command" and also had "access to the SOC".

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