"Once there is a security failure, it has to come with consequences"; Delhi High Court directs Delhi Police to file status report on security breach in CM residence

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The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police to file a status report, disclosing review of security arrangements of the Delhi Chief Minister's residence and what steps have been taken to prevent the occurrence of a similar untoward incident. 

A Divison bench of Acting Chief Justice Hon'ble Mr. Vipin Sanghi J. and Hon'ble Mr. Navin Chawla J., while hearing a writ petition praying for the court to direct a probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT)  into the incidence of vandalism outside the Delhi Chief Minister's office, expressed disapproval at the interim report filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, North District of Delhi. Upon perusing the report, the court remarked that

"The reading of the report shows that the bando bast made outside the residence of the Chief Minister of Delhi and on the road leading to his residence, in the wake of the permission sought on behalf BJ Yuva Morcha, which was declined, was inadequate and they failed to prevent some miscreants from eventually reaching the gate of the residence of the CM and vandalising the area and destroying public property."

The Delhi High Court has thus directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police to inquire into the following aspects:- 

  • Whether the bando bast was adequate and
  • The reasons for failure of the arrangements made and
  • Fix responsibility for the lapse which admittedly has occurred

stating that "Once there is a security failure, it has to come with consequences"

The status report has been directed to be filed in sealed cover. 

As per the interim status report already filed by the Delhi Police, it had barricaded the area in question at four points - A, B, C and D. The miscreants, according to the report, were able to breach the barricades at the points marked A, B and C and reach the residence of the chief minister.

Senior Advocate, Dr. Abhishek Singhvi appeared for the Petitioner and submitted that the police had turned a blind eye to the activities of the miscreants, who were being supported by the ruling government. He further submitted that the nature of the case would not permit the Delhi Police to conduct an objective investigation. 

"Prima donna and persona grata are far too big for the police to take objective action", he remarked, while emphasising the need for an SIT probe. 

He further submitted that from the CCTV footage of the incident, it was clear to see that the miscreants were the same as those being felicitated by the ruling government at a ceremony held a few days before the incident in question. He placed on affidavit the photos and videos of the incident, wherein he contended that the faces of the miscreants were clear and could be made out. He also placed on record photos of the alleged felicitation ceremony, which he contended was conducted by the government in power felicitating the miscreants, a few days before the incident took place. 

The court while expressing concern at the grave security lapses of the police remarked that the matter was not to be dealt with politically. 

"This is an important facet of democracy. The Chief Minister's is a constitutional office. Even if this were the Prime Minister. No one can say he is not my Prime Minister. It is the constitutional office we are concerned with" 

Senir Advocate Mr. Sanjay Jain, ASG appearing for the Delhi Police submitted that the submissions being made by Mr. Singhvi were not germane to the present petition. He contended that the petitioner in a Public Interest Litigation is like an informant. Once he has apprised the court of the problem, his role is over. Mr. Jain contended that the Petitioner does not have to champion the cause of the Chief Minister. His role is over. 

The Delhi High Court was hearing a writ petition filed by Mr. Saurabh Bhardwaj praying for the court to direct an independent probe into the issue. So far various FIRs have been registered against the accused and the Delhi High Court has granted bail to 8 men who were arrested for alleged involvement in the incidence of vandalism at Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal's home on March 30

The matter has been listed on 17th May, 2022

Case Title:- Saurabh Bhardwaj v Delhi Police, through its Commissioner & Anr.