New Delhi: A Delhi court Tuesday sentenced Congress legislator Mateen Ahmed and his associate Zameel Ahmed to three years jail for rioting and obstructing government officials on duty. Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Rana convicted Mateen Ahmad, the legislator from Seelampur and Jameer Ahmed, an ex-councillor, for rioting and obstructing government officials closing down polluting industries in 2001 while implementing the Supreme Court orders.
He also imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on each. The court, however, suspended the sentences for a month to enable them to file an appeal against the judgment and granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each with one surety till then. Rana, terming the accused "insouciant" members of the legislative assembly and municipal corporation, convicted them for rioting, assaulting and causing hurt to deter public servants from discharge of their duty.
"The convicts in the instant case are reported to be members of legislative assembly and municipal corporation of Delhi. It is their primary task to legislate for the benefit of society. A person who frames law within the precincts of the temple of democracy is not expected to impudently defy the same on the roads in full public gaze."
"A leader is expected to lead by conduct. This court is at loss to comprehend what message the convicts were trying to convey to the society," the judgment said.
"It is a very dangerous trend for our democracy that some persons openly and impudently dare to defy the judgments of the apex court and consider themselves to be law unto themselves," the magistrate added.
On Jan 7, 2001, when Punjabi Bagh circle sub-divisional magistrate E Raja Babu, along with his team, had gone to Jafrabad area in northeast Delhi to seal the factory, Mateen Ahmed and the other five accused obstructed and assaulted the team of officials, as per the prosecution. Of the other four accused, two died during trial and two others were acquitted.