Why did a Supreme Court official lash out at cops during the raid on Manish Sisodia?

Soon as on Mathura Road Friday morning, the Delhi police barricaded the adjoining service lane. The metal barricades served their purpose, enabling the police to restrict access to the Delhi deputy chief minister’s house and, crucially, preventing Aam Aadmi Party’s supporters, protesting a few blocks away, from reaching their leader’s house.

By the end of the day, however, closing off the service lane would land the police in a spot of bother.

Just after 8 pm, a Hyundai Civic sedan, its front fender emblazoned with a ‘Supreme Court’ sticker, rolled in from the Purana Qila Road and stopped at the first barricade. Inside, in the rear seat, was the Supreme Court’s secretary general .

A police constable approached the car and informed Bansal and his driver of the ongoing searches at the deputy chief minister’s house and asked where they were headed. It was not immediately clear if more words were exchanged but Bansal got into an argument with the constable.

Bansal lives in a government bungalow four doors from Sisodia’s.

Seeing the car held up, assistant police commissioner Atul Kumar, who was on the scene not far away from the barricade, rushed to pacify Bansal.

“Who gave the permission to barricade my house?” Bansal shouted at Kumar. “Call the officer who took the decision.

“Sorry sir,” Kumar responded, “We will remove the barricades right away.”

The next moment Bansal was shouting into a cellphone, “Who gave you permission to barricade my house?”

Not impressed by Kumar’s entreaties, Bansal raised his voice a notch. “You’re stopping the Supreme Court from working,” he declared to the police officer. “I will see that this is taken to a logical conclusion.”

Still shouting from inside the car, Bansal reminded the police that they had stopped his sister too in the morning. “My sister was not allowed to enter,” he said. “You even kept a constable in my house.”

“Sorry sir,” Kumar, looking very stiff, apologised. “We’ll be careful.”

Finally, Bansal stepped out. “I am not taking the car inside,” he declared. “Let it remain here until the barricades are removed.”

Bansal walked in and Kumar trudged along. Once inside the house, Kumar reminded Bansal he’d presided over many of the police officer’s cases when he was a sessions court judge in the early 2000s. “This made Bansal recognise Kumar and the issue was resolved,” a Delhi police official privy to the conversation told Newslaundry.

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