Can't be Compelled to Go to Police Station for Interrogation, Says Delhi Minorities Commission Chief

Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Zafarul Islam Khan, against whom an FIR has been lodged for his alleged seditious and hateful acts, Wednesday told the Delhi police as per the law the police cannot compel him to go to the police station for interrogation as he was above 65 years of age, said his lawyer.

"The law as per section 160 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) mandates that the police cannot compel attendance of a person above 65 years age at any place other than their residence for the purpose of investigation and interrogation. You are required as per law to question / interrogate Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan only in his residence and you cannot compel him to go to any police station."

"As Dr Zafarul Islam Khan''s lawyer I am hereby placing on record that as per law you cannot compel him to go to the police station. That would violate the CrPC and amount to illegal police action against the rights of my Client," said his counsel Vrinda Grover.

Khan stated in the letter written to Cyber Cell of the Delhi police (Dwarka), that he was a senior citizen of 72 years of age and it is risky for his health to report to the police station during these times of lockdown due to COVID-19.

He further said that he was available to answer any question at his home during daytime.

I am a public servant and head of a statutory body, Delhi Minorities Commission.I am a senior citizen of 72 years of age and a heart-patient, suffering from old age-related physical illness that make me extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus. I suffer from hyper-tension among other ailments.

You are required as per law to question/interrogate me only at my residence and you cannot compel me to go to any police station. During these times of lockdown due to COVID-19, it is risky for my health to report to your office. I am available to answer any question at my home during daytime, the letter stated.

Grover told PTI that the police have refused to give Khan any legal notice despite repeatedly asking for it.

The police came and asked him to come to the Cyber Cell. They have refused to give him any legal notice despite my client repeatedly asking for a legal notice. They have not given anything in writing to him.We have asked for a legal notice. Till not the police have not got back, she said.

Khan said that his tweet on April 28 wherein he thanked Kuwait for taking note of the "persecution" of Indian Muslims in the context of the northeast Delhi violence has "pained" some people and it was never his intention.

He also accused a section of media of "distorting and fabricating" the content of his tweet. A legal notice has been sent to a news channel in this regard, he said. Citing the tweet and a Facebook post by Khan, the BJP has demanded his removal from the post of Delhi Minorities Commission chairman. A delegation of Delhi BJP MLAs met Lt Governor Anil Baijal and also demanded registration of a case against him.