Delhi court orders 3-day custody for Kejriwal's aide in Swati Maliwal's assault case

The Delhi Police initially requested five days of custody for Bibhav Kumar, arguing that extended interrogation was necessary for their investigation.

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Delhi's Tis Hazari Court ordered Bibhav Kumar, an aide to Arvind Kejriwal, to be held in police custody for three days on Tuesday. This decision is part of the ongoing investigation into the alleged assault case involving Swati Maliwal, a prominent member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The Delhi Police initially requested five days of custody for Bibhav Kumar, arguing that extended interrogation was necessary for their investigation. However, Kumar’s lawyer opposed this request, claiming that the police lacked sufficient evidence to justify such a lengthy custodial period.

Bail plea rejected

This court order follows the denial of Kumar's bail plea a day earlier. The court emphasized that the allegations made by Swati Maliwal should be considered seriously and not dismissed lightly. Additional Sessions Judge Sushil Anuj Tyagi noted, "The victim's claims should be accepted as presented and not dismissed. The delay in lodging the FIR does not weaken the case, as the injuries are confirmed in the medical report."

The case dates back to May 13 when Swati Maliwal claimed that Bibhav Kumar assaulted her at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence. According to Maliwal’s FIR, Kumar allegedly slapped her multiple times without any provocation. She further alleged that he kicked her in the chest and pelvis and intentionally pulled up her shirt. Kumar was arrested on May 18 and initially held in police custody for five days. After his arrest, his anticipatory bail plea became irrelevant.

Charges against Bibhav Kumar

The FIR against Bibhav Kumar was filed on May 16. He faces several charges under the Indian Penal Code, including criminal intimidation, assault with intent to disrobe, and attempted culpable homicide. These charges reflect the serious nature of the allegations and the gravity of the incident.

Defense’s argument

During the hearing, Kumar’s lawyer, N Hariharan, argued that the charges were fabricated. He claimed that the case was based on false allegations made days after the supposed incident. The defense has maintained that there is no substantial evidence to support Maliwal’s claims.

What has court said about delay?

The court acknowledged the delay in registering the FIR but did not consider it detrimental to the case. Judge Tyagi pointed out that the physical injuries reported were consistent with Maliwal's allegations, lending credibility to her account despite the delay.