Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel was on Friday sentenced to six-month imprisonment for rioting and causing hurt at the house of a realtor in an East Delhi colony in 2015.
Goel was last week convicted under Section 448 of the India Penal Code (IPC) for house-trespass by a Rouse Avenue Court. Section 448 carries a maximum punishment of up to one year, meaning that Goel is safe from disqualification.
Besides Goel, four other people have been convicted in the case and all of them have been given a sentence of 6-month imprisonment.
The quantum of a sentence means that he will not be disqualified as a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly as an elected representative gets disqualified if he or she is sentenced in an offense for 2 years or more.
The case pertains to an incident on February 6, 2015, when AAP’s Shahdara MLA and his supporters had allegedly raided one of the houses of a local builder in Vivek Vihar. Manish Ghai, the builder, had alleged in the FIR that Goel raided his property accusing him of stashing liquor, blankets and other stuff for distribution ahead of the assembly polls.
The builder had alleged that several items including almirah, drawers, kitchen items, window panes and mirrors in the house were broken. He alleged that laborers who were staying at the house at the time of the incident were physically assaulted by AAP leaders.
The charge sheet, filed before chief metropolitan magistrate in September 2017, had named seven persons as accused in the case accusing them of rioting, trespassing, causing mischief and voluntarily causing hurt.
Goel had denied allegations, saying that they had first made a call to PCR with complaints regarding the same. The AAP leaders said that they had gone to Ghai’s house with a police team.
The police, in the chargesheet said, “As per the complainant, some laborers were staying at a house that was owned by him. He received a call from one of them at about 9.30 pm on February 6, 2015 about Goel and his associates forcibly entering the building and damaging the property.”