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Delhi courts see big names in politics, business in 2019: Chidambaram, Shivakumar, Vadra, Singh bros

From handling cases involving the main leaders of Congress, P Chidambaram and DK Shivakumar, to granting a lifetime to expel BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for raping a minor in Unnao and dealing with clashes between lawyers and police, the Delhi courts had a memorable 2019.

PTI PTI
New Delhi Updated on: December 29, 2019 13:06 IST
Delhi courts see big names in politics, business in 2019:

Delhi courts see big names in politics, business in 2019: Chidambaram, Shivakumar, Vadra, Singh bros

From handling cases involving the main leaders of Congress, P Chidambaram and DK Shivakumar, to granting a lifetime to expel BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for raping a minor in Unnao and dealing with clashes between lawyers and police, the Delhi courts had a memorable 2019.

The year saw them deal with several other cases involving big names like Robert Vadra, son-in-law of the head of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi; former BBP MLA Brajesh Thakur; former Union Minister MJ Akbar; Ratul Puri, nephew of the Prime Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath; and former promoters of Fortis Healthcare Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.

Chidambaram was finally able to get out of jail on December 4, after 105 days in custody, since the superior court granted him bail in the INX Media money laundering case presented by the.

The 74-year-old former finance minister had been in custody since August 21 when he was arrested by the IWC in the INX Media corruption case. The ED arrested him on October 16.

An MLA 7 times in Karnataka, the 57-year-old Shivakumar was arrested by the ED for alleged crimes under PMLA on September 3 and the Delhi High Court granted him bail on October 23.

In another high profile case, a Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to Vadra in a money laundering case. It directed him not to leave the country without prior permission, among other conditions.

The Delhi courts of first instance attracted national attention when Sengar was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a minor girl in Unnao in 2017, underlining that she will remain in jail for the rest of her natural biological life.

The court also imposed an exemplary fine of Rs 25 lakh for the depraved act of a democratic official that led to the erosion of the citizens' faith in him.

The alleged sexual and physical assault on several girls in the Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar, led by Thakur, the former MLA of the Bihar People's Party, was another infamous case treated by a Delhi court.

The hearing began in the case after it was transferred on February 7 from a local court in Muzaffarpur to a POCSO court in the Saket district court complex on the instructions of the Supreme Court. The trial court has reserved the verdict for January 14.

Delhi police filed a charge sheet against the former president of JNUSU and others, saying he had raised slogans against India in 2016 to incite hatred and disaffection towards the government. However, the case could not proceed because after submitting the final report, the police failed to obtain the necessary sanctions to prosecute Kumar.

Towards the end of the year, lawyers from the six district courts began a strike for two weeks after the defenders and police personnel in Delhi met at the Tis Hazari judicial complex on November 2. The violence left at least 20 police officers and several lawyers injured.

Thousands of police personnel besieged the police offices for 11 hours on November 5 and organized a virtual revolt caused by two attacks, the other in the Saket district judicial complex on November 4, against their colleagues for part of lawyers.

Businessman Puri had a hard time in 2019 on being arrested by the ED in two cases of money laundering -- the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam and a bank fraud -- and was able to come out of jail only after four months on secured bail in both the cases.

Other businessmen who faced the court's ire were Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder who were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly misappropriating funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), and later by the ED in a related money laundering case. They are in judicial custody in both the cases.

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, deported from Dubai on January 30, was arrested by the CBI and the DE in several cases, which included the case in which he acted as an intermediary in negotiations to favor foreign private airlines, which caused the loss of the national airline Air India.

The other is related to the purchase of 43 aircraft by erstwhile Indian Airlines from France's Airbus Industrie in 2005. He is in the ED custody in a money laundering case related to receiving foreign funding illegally. The case is before the courts here.

A Delhi court also carried out the trial in a criminal defamation case filed by Akbar against a scribe for his allegations of sexual harassment against him as part of the #MeToo movement.

Another case that made headlines was the criminal defamation complaint filed by Vivek Doval, son of the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, against the leading senator of Congress Jairam Ramesh and a news magazine for allegedly publishing a defamatory article.

Christian Michel, an alleged intermediary arrested in the helicopter scam, could not get any relief from the courts here. He was extradited from Dubai on December 22 last year.

Another alleged intermediary, Rajiv Saxena, one of the defendants mentioned in the charge sheet presented by the ED in the Rs 3.6 billion rupee scam and was extradited from Dubai to India on January 31. He was granted bail on February 25 when the ED requested the court to grant him forgiveness in the case related to the scam as he agreed to be an approver in the matter.

However, in October, ED approached the court seeking to cancel its bond and revoke the approval status, claiming that it withheld information.

In May, the CBI withdrew a request for permission to continue investigating the Rs 64-crore Bofors payment case from a Delhi court.

In September, a Delhi court closed a case of criminal deception and intimidation against the former Supreme Court employee who had filed allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

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