Cong MLA challenges 3-yr jail sentence in rioting case

Cong MLA challenges 3-yr jail sentence in rioting case

A Congress MLA and his associate have approached a Delhi court challenging their three-year jail term for rioting and obstructing government officials to perform their duty when they were closing down polluting industries in 2001 on Supreme Court orders.

Seelampur MLA Mateen Ahmed and ex-councillor Jameer Ahmed have also sought suspension of the judgement, saying it would bar them from contesting the next elections.

"The appellants are reputed politicians and have repeatedly won elections on their posts. If the judgement of conviction is not suspended pending disposal of the appeal, it would mar their chances of contesting the next elections," the plea said.
Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar has slated the matter for April 2 for arguments.

"Till then the interim bail granted by the metropolitan magistrate is extended on the same terms and conditions," the judge said.

The two were held guilty of rioting, assaulting and causing hurt to deter public servants from discharging their duty.

Seeking to set aside the judgement of the magistrate, Mateen said key prosecution witnesses SDM E Raja Babu and LDC Virender Singh had turned hostile during their examination in the court and did not support the prosecution version.

According to the prosecution, on January 7, 2001, when Punjabi Bagh circle SDM E Raja Babu and his team had gone to Jafrabad area in North East Delhi to seal a factory, they were obstructed from doing so by Mateen and five other accused.
Mateen and his associates also assaulted the team, it said.

The MLA in his appeal said the police constables, who were also witnesses in the case, neither identified anyone else nor they were able to give correct details about the incident but they still identified Mateen as MLA of the area and that he was present at the spot.

Jameer also sought to set aside the judgement holding him guilty, saying no overt act has been attributed to him by any of the witness and some have not even identified him.

Of the six accused, Mateen and Jameer were convicted, while Sultan Ahmed and Mohammed Ashraf were acquitted by the trial court.

The proceedings against two accused - Nadeem Tehelvi and Najim Naqvi - were abated as they died during the trial.

Meanwhile, SDM and LDC, against whom the trial court had initiated perjury proceedings as they had turned hostile during the trial, have also filed revision petition against the order.

The sessions court has stayed the perjury proceedings till April 6, the next date of hearing.

Raja Babu and Singh have sought to set aside the trial court's order against them on the ground that it was against their fundamental rights and the magistrate nowhere in the judgement had concluded that they have "intentionally" deposed falsely in the court.