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Delhi Assembly Speaker to challenge six-month jail term in house trespassing case

Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Friday said he will challenge a court order sentencing him to six months in jail for trespassing the house of a realtor in an east Delhi colony in 2015.

Goel said he is a law-abiding citizen and respects the judiciary.

“I will file an appeal in the Sessions Court to challenge the order,” he told PTI.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal held Goel and four others — Sumit Goyal, Hitesh Khanna, Atul Gupta and Balbir Singh — guilty under section 448 (house-trespass) of the Indian Penal Code, saying the case against them was proved beyond reasonable doubts.

The court, however, granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh to enable them to file an appeal before higher courts against the order of their conviction and the jail term.

Welcoming the court order, the Delhi BJP sought Goel’s resignation on moral grounds.

“Goel must quit on moral grounds. He has failed to maintain the dignity of his constitutional post,” Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said.

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari asked why Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was silent about the development.

“Goel occupies a constitutional position and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, even after his (Goel”s) sentencing, has not uttered a word. He will have to tell the people of Delhi why there are so many leaders in the Aam Aadmi Party who are facing criminal cases,” he said.

According to an FIR registered on a complaint by builder Manish Ghai, Goel and his supporters had raided one of his (Ghai”s) houses in Vivek Vihar on the night of February 6, 2015, a day before the Delhi Assembly elections.

Goel had allegedly raided Ghai’s house accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other things for distribution ahead of the polls, the FIR said.

The members of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party had refuted these claims, saying they had gone to the house with a police team comprising the local station house officer and assistant commissioner of police, among others, after making a PCR call in this regard.


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