CCTV Footage May Have Been Tampered With: Delhi Cops In Swati Maliwal Case

In its remand note, police have said a portion of the footage from CCTV cameras at the Chief Minister's residence is blank.

CCTV Footage May Have Been Tampered With: Delhi Cops In Swati Maliwal Case

Swati Maliwal has alleged assault by Bibhav Kumar at CM Arvind Kejriwal's residence

New Delhi:

The CCTV footage of the May 13 incident, in which AAP MP Swati Maliwal was allegedly assaulted at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, may have been tampered by main accused Bibhav Kumar to destroy evidence, Delhi Police have said.

In its remand note, police have said a portion of the footage from CCTV cameras at the Chief Minister's residence is showing blank.

Ms Maliwal took to social media to stress this point. Referring to the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder, she tweeted, "There was a time when he hit the streets to get justice for Nirbhaya. Twelve years later, they are hitting the streets to save an accused who deleted CCTV footage and formatted the phone. I wish they had tried so hard for Manish Sisodia. If he was here, maybe something so bad would not have happened to me," she said. Mr Sisodia, Delhi's former Deputy Chief Minister, is in jail for over a year now in the Delhi liquor policy case.

Police have said they have not received the Digital Video Recorder so that they can scan the May 13 footage as part of their probe. The CCTV cameras at the Chief Minister's residence come under the purview of the Public Works Department (PWD). A junior engineer from the department has given police one video in a pen drive that was found blank, the remand note says. The investigation revealed that the junior engineer does not have access to the DVR, it adds.

Bibhav Kumar, Chief Minister Kejriwal's close aide, has been arrested and remanded in police custody for five days.

Delhi Police have said the accused is not cooperating in the probe. They have said he worked in the influential position of the Chief Minister's personal secretary for nine years and can tamper evidence and influence witnesses. The remand note also says Bibhav Kumar was appointed as the Chief Minister's personal secretary in February 2015 and removed in April this year over a 2007 case of obstructing a public servant from working. Police are now probing why he was still working at the Chief Minister's residence.

The remand note says assault on an MP is a very serious matter and the attack could have turned fatal. When Bibhav Kumar was questioned about the incident, he was evasive, it adds. The statement of Ms Maliwal is consistent with her medical report, it says.

The accused's iPhone 15 has been formatted and needs to be examined by a data expert, police have said.

Bibhav Kumar's counsel Rajiv Mohan has said Ms Maliwal visited the Chief Minister's residence without an appointment and that Delhi Police was distorting facts. He also said she filed the police complaint on May 16 -- three days after the incident.

He said neither did Ms Maliwal seek any medical aid after calling the emergency helpline, nor did the station house officer prepare any medical sheet after meeting her.

The lawyer alleged that Ms Maliwal was politicising the issue of having suffered injuries and giving statements to the media.

In its rebuttal, the Delhi Police counsel said that according to the FIR, Ms Maliwal was "in shock" after the assault and filed a police complaint after recovering.

A Rajya Sabha member and former chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, Ms Maliwal has alleged that Bibhav Kumar had slapped her multiple times and kicked her during the May 13 incident. AAP MP Sanjay Singh had earlier said the Chief Minister's aide had misbehaved with her and that Mr Kejriwal will take strict action. The AAP has now said the BJP has made Ms Maliwal part of a conspiracy.

"Anti-Corruption Bureau of the BJP has filed a case against Swati Maliwal regarding the illegal recruitment of contractual employees in DCW. A charge sheet has been filed and the time of conviction is coming, we believe that Swati Maliwal is being included in the conspiracy by using this case." AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi told the media yesterday.