NEW DELHI: Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel was on Friday awarded six-month jail term by a city court for trespassing on the house of a realtor in an East Delhi colony in 2015.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal held Goel and four others — Sumit Goyal, Hitesh Khanna, Atul Gupta and Balbir Singh — guilty, saying the case against them was proved beyond reasonable doubts. “I am of the view that the punishment needs to be deterrent in this case,” the magistrate said, while handing over simple imprisonment for a period of six months and a fine of Rs 1,000 each.
The court, however, granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 1,00,000 to enable them to file an appeal before higher courts against the order of their conviction and the jail term. The court had convicted the accused persons for the offence punishable under section 448 (house trespass) of the IPC. Goel, 72, had denied the allegations in the case through advocate Md Irshad.
Goel on Friday said he will challenge the court order sentencing him to six months in jail. He said he is a law-abiding citizen and respects the judiciary. “I will file an appeal in the sessions court to challenge the order,” he said.
According to an FIR registered on a complaint by builder Manish Ghai, Goel and his supporters had raided one of Ghai’s houses in Vivek Vihar on the night of February 6, 2015, a day before the Delhi Assembly elections. Goel had allegedly raided the house of Ghai accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other things for distribution ahead of the polls, the FIR had said.
The AAP members had refuted these claims, saying they had gone to the house with a police team comprising the local station house officer and assistant commissioner of police, among others after making a PCR call in this regard.
“As per the complainant, some labourers were staying at a house that was owned by him. He received a call from one of them on February 6, 2015 about Goel and his associates forcibly entering the building and damaging the property,” the police had said in the chargesheet.