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Maliwal Assault Case: Court Grants Police Custody To Bibhav Kumar, Cites Phone Formatting and Missing Video As Key Factors

While granting five days of police custody for Bibhav Kumar, the court noted, “the fact that the video footage was not found in the pendrive provided by the JE to the IO during the course of the investigation and the mobile phone was formatted by the accused speaks volumes.” Additionally, the court acknowledged that this […]

While granting five days of police custody for Bibhav Kumar, the court noted, “the fact that the video footage was not found in the pendrive provided by the JE to the IO during the course of the investigation and the mobile phone was formatted by the accused speaks volumes.” Additionally, the court acknowledged that this was not Kumar’s first criminal case.

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Gaurav Goyal remanded Bibhav Kumar in police custody for five days, citing the need for further investigation and the submissions from Delhi Police. The court highlighted that it was essential to grant police custody since the accused needed to be taken to Mumbai and other parts of Delhi.

MM Gaurav Goyal stated in the order, passed on May 19 at 12:45 AM, “Considering the submissions made on behalf of both parties, I find there is necessity of police custody remand in this case. Accordingly, the application moved by the IO is partly allowed and the accused is remanded to police custody remand for a period of 05 days.” The court emphasized the ultimate goal of every investigation is to uncover the truth and instructed that the accused should not be subjected to any torture during police custody. Furthermore, the court allowed the accused to meet his advocates for half an hour daily between 6 PM and 7 PM and also to meet his wife for half an hour daily during custody.

The case was at an early stage, with allegations in the complaint/FIR corroborated by the victim’s statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. and the victim’s medical examination report. The court also reviewed the case file and diaries, noting the accused’s criminal history was undisputed by defense counsel and that his services had been terminated.

Section 41 A of Cr.P.C. was considered, which gives the IO discretion to arrest or not arrest during the investigation. The MM stated, “I find force in the arguments of learned Addl. PP that there were sufficient grounds to arrest the accused without notice.”

While requesting police custody, Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Atul Kumar Srivastava argued the seriousness of the case, involving an assault on a public figure and a member of parliament by the accused, whose services were recently terminated. Despite notice by the IO, the DVR containing the incident was not provided, and a pendrive from a JE officer was found blank for the relevant time. The accused’s access to the inside raised possibilities of tampering, necessitating police custody to ascertain these facts, including the formatting of his mobile phone and retrieval of deleted data.

The APP further stated that the weapon used in the assault needs to be recovered. In contrast, defense counsel Rajiv Mohan opposed the custody application, highlighting the delay in the complainant filing the complaint and disputing the severity of the charges under IPC Section 308. He also asserted the accused’s right not to disclose his mobile phone password and denied the accused’s access to CCTV footage controlled by the PWD Department of Delhi.

The defense argued that the complainant had ample opportunity to lodge the complaint earlier but did so after delay and deliberation. APP countered that the investigation was at an early stage and the FIR was not exhaustive, stressing the necessity of police custody to reach a logical conclusion.

APP Srivastava emphasized the seriousness of the case, with corroborating evidence from the FIR, the victim’s statement, and the MLC from AIIMS Hospital. He warned of high chances of evidence tampering, noting the accused’s terminated services and continued presence at the work spot since 2015. The accused’s evasive answers and lack of cooperation were also cited, alongside his previous involvement in a criminal case registered by Noida Police in 2007 for assaulting a public servant.

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Bibhav KumarMaliwal Assault CaseMissing VideoPhone FormattngTDGThe Daily Guardian