Court orders medical test of Pawar's assailant

Court orders medical test of Pawar's assailant

The court ordered the medical test of Singh's mental health at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) after his counsel, pleading for grant of bail to him, claimed his client was suffering from mental illness since 2004.

"Let the accused be medically examined at IHBAS.... and reports be submitted on December 5," Metropolitan Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur said. During the arguments, advocate Kapil Dhaka, appearing for Singh, said his client is suffering from mental illness and he needs proper medication.

He said Singh should be enlarged on bail as investigation is over and no purpose would be served by keeping him in jail. The public prosecutor, however, vehemently opposed Singh's bail plea, saying he is a "grave threat to society".

The prosecutor said before slapping Pawar, Singh had also assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram and he has shown no signs of remorse. Regarding the defence plea that Singh is mentally ill, he said the accused had planned in advance to assault Pawar and had he been suffering from mental illness, it would have not been possible for him to execute the plan in such a manner.

Singh, a small-time transporter, had assaulted Pawar on November 24 when he was coming out of a public auditorium on Parliament Street, claiming to protest against price rise and corruption. Private security guards had overpowered Singh after he had assaulted Pawar.

Singh had also attacked Sukh Ram outside a court here on November 19 after he was sentenced to five years in jail in a 1996 corruption case. He has been charged with assaulting 71-year-old Pawar, a public servant and threatening him, besides trying to kill himself by slashing his wrist with his small 'kirpan'.

He was produced in the court next day and was remanded in judicial custody till December 9. Earlier, when he was produced in the court had shouted slogans like "Bhagat Singh Zindabad, Rajguru Zindabad" in the courtroom.

Advancing the arguments on the bail plea of Harvinder Singh, his counsel said that in a similar case in which team Anna member and advocate Prashant Bhushan was "brutally" assaulted in his chamber in the Supreme Court, the accused was freed on bail within two days with certain conditions and the same could be done in this case as well.

"Advocate Prashant Bhushan was brutally assaulted in his chamber in the Supreme Court premises but the accused was granted bail within two days. What message will it send to the society if Harvinder Singh is not granted bail?" he said, adding the court could impose certain conditions for his release.

The court, however, said if Singh is suffering from a medical problem, then a report should be called from a government hospital. "If he (Singh) is suffering from any serious medical problem, I will call for a report from a government hospital," the magistrate said.