MCD poll 2017: AAP candidate acquitted of defacing property

A Delhi court has acquitted an AAP woman candidate of the charge of defacing public property by pasting campaign posters on a park wall in a market here ahead of the MCD election this year, saying the case was “questionable”.

The court absolved Triveni Bharti, who had contested from ward 80 in Pushp Vihar in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation polls on April 23 this year, of the offence under Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property (DPDP) Act.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pooja Talwar, while acquitting Bharti, noted that neither was there any eye- witness to the pasting and removing of the poster, nor were there any marks on the pamphlet to prove the same.

“At the outset, there is no eye-witness to the pasting of the disputed poster, either from public or any police witness.

Not only that, there is no public witness to the procedure of removal of the said poster from the wall of the park.

“Interestingly, the poster in question is not having any pasting marks reflecting that it was ever pasted or any marks reflecting that it was forcefully taken off, which makes the entire case of the prosecution questionable,” the court said.

While deciding the matter in favour of the accused who had lost the election to a BJP candidate, it also said that it appeared that “no sincere effort was made” to join witnesses.

“Neither there are any eye witnesses to the commission of the offence, nor the chain establishing the circumstances in which the alleged poster had been affixed at the disputed site has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. I am of the opinion that the accused is entitled to be acquitted for offence under the DPDP Act,” the court said.

According to the prosecution, on April 17, a police official was on patrolling duty when he saw two campaign posters with pictures of AAP candidate Triveni Bharti on the wall of a park in Pushp Vihar marker.

An FIR was lodged, which was followed by a charge sheet against her for the offence of defacing public property under the DPDP Act.

However, during the trial, the accused denied the prosecution case in its entirety and claimed innocence.

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