Gun-toting Ashish Pandey, son of a BSP ex-MP, who was caught on video threatening a pair of restaurant-goers with whom he had got into a foul-mouthed altercation, has been remanded into judicial custody for three days after the court rejected his bail plea and the judge said that his arrogance and high-headedness could be made 'clearly made out from the contents of the FIR'.
Pandey appeared before the Patiala House court in New Delhi on Friday after his 1-day police custody ended. While entering the court, he avoided Republic TV's questions, hurrying away.
The police had sought an additional remand of two days, saying that they want to determine who all he had met during the period he was absconding and who had helped him. In response, the judge asked the police what they had recovered in one day. In response, the police listed 'the vehicle, the weapon, the gun licence'. In response, Ashish Pandey's lawyer said that since all these had been recovered, there was no further requirement for his client to remain in custody.
Pandey's counsel echoed his earlier explanation video making a case for the gun being pulled out in 'self-defence' saying that Pandey had felt threatened for the safety of women around him. The counsel also reiterated the 'responsible gun-used' defence, claiming that Pandey had enough self-control to not use the weapon, and adding that the incident happened in the spur of the moment.
Another defence also put forth that the 'other side' hadn't even come forth and filed a complaint. However, a potential explanation for this had come to light days earlier as while speaking to Republic TV, the male victim had been terse and vocal about fears over his and his family's safety. The judge denied the police further custody of Pandey, though they stated that they still wanted to determine the link between Pandey and the three women who were with him in the incriminating video, all of whom have returned abroad from where they had come. It was seemingly one of these women who had recorded the video that went on to go viral.
While the magistrate denied the police additional custody, he also rejected Pandey's bail application and remarked that the arrogance and high-headedness of Ashish Pandey could be clearly made out from the contents of the FIR. He was then sent to three days judicial custody and will be produced in court again on Monday.
Earlier in the week, Pandey's shocking video, where he was clearly seen holding a gun and issuing threats to a pair of people at the porch of the high-end Hyatt hotel in the national capital had gone viral. The altercation had allegedly begun at a women's washroom in the hotel as a woman restaurant-goer was bullied by the three women who were with Pandey. Pandey then got into the mix and abused, threatened and intimidated the woman's male friend. It spilled over into the porch where Pandey allegedly pulled the gun out of his car. He continued making threats and uttering abuses till he finally drove off.
After being untraceable for the next few days, Pandey only surfaced on Thursday in a coordinated fashion with a video and a statement by his counsel. He surrendered shortly after at the Patiala House Court.