Delhi court axes ‘gratification’ complaint against Kejriwal

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A Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed a criminal complaint against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying “the accused has not offered any gratification to the voters for casting votes in favour of his party”.

The court order also meant that now there would be no FIR lodged against Kejriwal, as complainant Ikrant Sharma, an advocate, had sought in his criminal complaint. The court refused to direct the police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal for allegedly exhorting voters to take bribe from the Congress party and the BJP but vote for his Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections in 2015.

Aam Aadmi Party registered a landslide victory, exceeding the expectations, as its candidates won 67 of the 70 seats. The BJP managed just three.

“In the given case, the accused has not offered any gratification to the voters for casting votes in favour of his party. He has merely stated that allurements are generally offered by some parties, if offered this time, do not refuse the same but cast vote in favour of his party. He himself has not offered any gratification in lieu of casting votes in favour of his party,” Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan said in his order running into four pages.

“In my considered opinion, no offence is made out against the accused. Hence, the application of the complainant under section 156(3) CrPC and the complaint is hereby dismissed,” he said.

The court referred to Section 171B of the IPC which defines offences of bribery in relation to elections. It says accepting either for himself or for any other person any gratification as a reward for exercising any electoral right is an offence of bribery.

The court also said that for Section 171B of the IPC to come into effect, a person must instigate a voter to accept the gratification for exercising his electoral right.

And the court said that Kejriwal had not offered any gratification to voters and no offence of bribery was made out against him.

Complainant Ikrant Sharma had alleged that during election campaign in January last year, Kejriwal had abetted the voters of Delhi for accepting money from BJP and Congress as a reward for casting their votes.

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