Indore MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, who has been sent to judicial custody for a fortnight for thrashing a municipal corporation official with a cricket bat, is in for more trouble.
Not only did the top district court decline to hear the bail plea of Vijayvargiya, the son of BJP national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, but he has also been arrested in another case.
The Sessions Court on Thursday refused to entertain his bail plea, saying the court could not hear his application as he was a legislator.
Special Sessions Judge B.K. Dwivedi reserved his order on the jurisdiction of the court to hear the MLA's plea after hearing the prosecution and defence.
Later citing notifications of the state High Court and the Law Department, the Judge said: "Bhopal-based Additional Sessions Judge Suresh Singh is empowered to hear the cases of elected representatives of the state.
"Hence the bail application of the accused, without being examined on its merits but on jurisdiction issue, stands rejected."
"This plea is dismissed with direction that the accused should move the competent court," the court added.
Vijayvargiya, who had assaulted the civic body official who had gone to get some dilapidated houses vacated after they had been declared unsafe for stay, will now have to move the Bhopal court.
He had moved the Sessions Court late on Wednesday after Judicial Magistrate, first class, Gaurav Garg rejected his bail application and sent him to judicial custody till July 11.
Observing that such crimes are on the rise in society, the magistrate had said that they must be stopped, or "otherwise people will lose faith in law and justice system".
Vijayvargiya is a legislator with a responsibility to make law and "if he violates the law himself it will have adverse effect on the common man", he added.
The magistrate had also said that he is an influential person and the possibility of him intimidating and influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
The denial of bail had come as a blow to the MLA's supporters who had mobbed the court and had a plan to take out a rally if he was granted bail.
Former Deputy General Counsel Pushyamitra Bhargava, who submitted the bail application, argued that a legislator is an ex-officio councillor, and has the right to ask corporation officials under which rule, and on whose orders the action is being taken.
Meanwhile, the MLA, who spent the night in barrack No 6 with two other inmates at the Indore jail, complained of light fever. He was given preliminary treatment but was denied food from home.
Several supporters including MLA Ramesh Maindola, BJP state Vice President Jeetu Jarati, Golu Shukla were present at the court on Thursday along with supporters. However, the party organization has distanced itself from the case.
As the police brought out Vijayavargiya from the rear gate, the workers started sloganeering. Some activists started throwing stones. Police detained one worker.
Former minister Narottam Mishra has come to the defence of Vijayvargiya, saying he lost cool after the municipal official allegedly misbehaved with the women of the house which was ordered to be demolished. "His intents were good... the means could have been harsh because he is inexperienced in public life," he claimed.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is said to be monitoring the case as Kailash Vijayvargiya is his close political associate. The meeting of BJP state unit to be held in Bhopal for membership campaign has been cancelled, state unit President Rakesh Singh said.
Meanwhile, Indore's Municipal Commissioner Ashish Singh on Thursday sacked 21 employees, who were rallying in support of the BJP leader, instead of supporting their colleagues during the incident. According to officials, these employees were seen at the court with Vijayvargiya in the video footage that went viral on Wednesday.
Vijayvargiya landed in more trouble on Thursday when he was officially arrested in another case.
A police team reached the district jail in Azad Nagar and officially arrested him for torching the effigy of Chief Minister Kamal Nath while leading a protest against power outages on June 4, MG Road police station inspector Rajendra Chaturvedi said.
Vijayvargiya was charged under the Indian Penal Code's Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), as he had led the protest without taking mandatory permission, the inspector said, adding that 10 others accused are wanted in the case.
On Wednesday, Akash was arrested for attacking a civic body official with a cricket bat, after a heated argument over a demolition drive. Media persons surrounded him with cameras and recorded the entire incident.
Justifying his action, Akash said, "In the BJP, we have been taught, pehle aavedan, phir nivedan aur phir danadan. (first request and then attack)."
"I was very angry. I don't remember what all I did. Let's see what happens," he added. He said there were no women members in the team of the civic body officials who went to the residential building during the anti-encroachment drive. He also alleged that the officers dragged the women residents and verbally abused one of them.
Eye-witnesses said the locals were protesting against razing of a house when Akash, who was a part of the protest, warned the civic body staff of consequences if they do not leave the spot.
with IANS inputs.