Bibhav erased phone data, assault footage blank: Cops : The Tribune India

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Bibhav erased phone data, assault footage blank: Cops

Claim vital Maliwal case evidence lost | Say attack could have proven fatal

Bibhav erased phone data, assault footage blank: Cops

Bibhav Kumar. File photo

Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 19

The CCTV footage related to the Swati Maliwal assault case that was accessed from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence turned out to be blank, the Delhi Police told a local court while seeking the custody of AAP chief’s personal assistant Bibhav Kumar late last night.

In its application seeking seven-day remand, the police claimed that Bibhav had “admitted to formatting his password-protected iPhone-15 in Mumbai a day before his arrest”. They said the device and the accused needed to be taken to Mumbai to recover the data, which was “vital evidence”. The police, which was allowed Bibhav’s five-day custody, also argued that the alleged assault on Maliwal, AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP, on May 13 could have proven fatal.

The police said digital video recording of the drawing room of the CM’s Civil Lines residence where the alleged assault took place was not provided officially, and that a portion of it procured unofficially had turned out to be blank.

In their submission in the court, the Delhi Police said Bibhav could not explain as to why he, despite the termination of his appointment as Kejriwal’s personal secretary on April 19, continued to work in the CM’s residence whereby he had the “potential to tamper with crucial evidence in the case”. “Bibhav Kumar was appointed private secretary to the CM on co-terminus basis on February 27, 2015, which was terminated by the competent authority on April 19, 2024. But he continues to work at the CM’s residence,” stated the three-page remand application procured by The Tribune.

Citing the reasons for his arrest, ADCP (North) Anjitha Chepyala said, “This is a very serious case where an MP has been brutally assaulted, which could have been fatal. Despite specific questions, the accused has been non-cooperative in investigation and evasive in replies.”

The remand application added that since “the attack had been made on a public figure, who is a sitting MP, and a sustained interrogation was required to find out the motive and ascertain the conspiracy angle and the involvement of persons and organisations inimical to the country”.

The police said, “The investigation officer gave a notice to provide one of the most vital pieces of evidence—the digital video recording of the place where the crime took place—but it has not been provided yet. However, on the efforts of the investigation officer, a junior rank officer (at the CM’s house)… provided video footage in a pen drive of only the dining room... but it turned out to be blank for the relevant period.” The police said they “couldn’t rule out tampering with crucial evidence”. The police said the accused had to be interrogated in detail.

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