A local court today issued a bailable warrant against Delhi Assembly Speaker and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ram Niwas Goel after he failed to appear before it in an alleged rioting case of 2008.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sunil Kumar Sharma issued the warrant against Goel after he did not appear today even after the court’s direction on January 12.
The police had chargesheeted 21 persons, including Goel, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Harsh Vardhan (now Union Minister), Jagdish Mukhi and Aarti Mehra, in an alleged case of rioting and damaging public property during a protest by BJP activists at the CPI(M) office in central Delhi in March 2008. One of the 21 chargesheeted accused has since expired.
Goel, who later joined the Aam Aadmi Party, was elected Speaker of the Delhi Assembly on February 23.
On January 12, the court had allowed applications seeking exemption from personal appearance for that day only after it was moved by the counsel for Goel and five other accused, subject to cost of Rs 2,500 each, with a direction to appear before it today.
When Goel did not appear today, the magistrate issued a bailable warrant of Rs 10,000 against him and posted the matter for hearing on May 30.
The police, in its chargesheet, has alleged that the BJP workers had pelted stones at CPI(M) office on March 9, 2008, damaging property and assaulting policemen when they were stopped by them.
However in November 2012, the police filed a plea in the court seeking withdrawal of prosecution of the accused in the case.
Following this, the court had sought the response of the victims who were injured in the stone-pelting incident. The victims had sought dismissal of the police’s plea for withdrawal of prosecution of the accused.
The court is currently hearing arguments on the plea.