[Delhi Riots 2020] High Court reserves orders in Gulfisha Fatima’s bail plea

Read Time: 06 minutes


The Special Bench was hearing an appeal filed by Delhi Riots accused Gulfisha Fatima, challenging the trial court's order denying her bail in a criminal conspiracy to orchestrate the February 2020 riots. Fatima was denied bail by Trial Court in March 2022.

Noting that the arguments in the case are complete, a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar "reserved orders" in the bail plea filed by Gulfisha Fatima on Monday. 

The division bench was hearing an appeal filed by the Delhi riots accused Gulfisha Fatima, challenging the trial court's order denying bail in a criminal conspiracy to orchestrate the February 2020 riots. Fatima was denied bail by Trial Court in March 2022.

Advocate Sushil Bajaj appearing for Fatima concluded his submission in the plea on January 7. Bajaj had stated that in Jafrabad, where some violence happened, it is accepted that Gulfisha was part of the protest there.

He had further submitted that Gulfisha had only created the WhatsApp group "Warriors" for the purpose of protest and there is nothing incriminating in that. Additionally, Bajaj had argued, "It has been alleged that I gave chili powder to the women, however, there was no recovery from me".

It is to be noted that earlier, Bajaj had argued that all the prosecution witnesses were either hearsay or the persons who were present at all the protestors' meetings. "Where is the culpability?" he had asked. He had alleged that each of the witnesses was a pardoned accused, masquerading as a witness against Gul (Gulfisha) and speaking like a "Greek Porus".

Bajaj had submitted that a bare reading of the statements revealed that all these witnesses were part of the protests in the February 2020 riots and they were there in all the meetings, WhatsApp groups, and even present at protest sites. He had argued that the first step should be to corroborate the evidence.

To this, the court had said, “We are required to make a careful opinion only on the basis of the charge sheet”. 

Trial Court Order:

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of the Karkardooma Court, on March 17 rejected Gulfisha’s bail and stated that allegations against her were prima facie true and that it had reasonable grounds to reject her bail application.

The Court had found that Gulfisha was present in North East Delhi at the time of the riots and as per witness statements, she was the one who started the blockade and prompted an attack on police personnel and others with weapons like dande, Lal-mirch powder and others in Jafrabad area which had a "cascading effect leading to riots".

Main operative part of order:

  • Accused Gulfisha Fatima was the one who as part of the conspiracy received women protesters at Seelampur, Jafrabad coming from Jahangir Puri to initiate the violence.
  • Gulfisha was also present at a midnight secret meeting on 16/17.02.2020 at Chand Bagh for chakka­jam. She was also involved in the incident of 22.02.2020 at Jafrabad Metro Station.
  • There were also messages in the DPSG (Whatsapp) group revealing the stockpiling and distribution of mirchi­ powder and other weapons and about what the Pinjra Tod was saying.
  • A look at the statement of protected witnesses under Section 164 Cr. P.C. showed sufficient incriminating material against the present accused.

Case Title: Gulfisha Fatima v. State Govt of NCT of Delhi