[Delhi Riots] Clinching evidence points to prolonged incarceration: Delhi HC rejects bail plea of 2 accused

  • Shaheen Parween
  • 08:35 PM, 14 Sep 2021

The Delhi High court today dismissed the bail application of Irshad Ali and Sadiq, accused for the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal and causing injuries to Police Personnel during the North East Delhi Riots. The Court observed that both had actively participated and pelted stones at the Police Officials at the Scene of Crime which justified the invocation of Section 149 IPC read with Section 302 IPC in the instant case.

The Single Judge bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad, however granted bail to Shahnawaz and Mohd Ayyub also accused in the same case.

Rejecting the bail application of Irshad Ali the Court observed that “a perusal of the video footage revealed that the Petitioner was seen, wearing a sky-blue Nehru jacket, grey salwar-kurta and a white skull cap, on GNCTD Camera ID No.7033161 installed at E2 56 Chand Bagh at 12:04:19 PM, instigating the crowd to follow him.”

The Court said that Irshad was also seen on various cameras  with a danda in his hand and his face partially covered. Further perusal of the video taken by Vishal Chaudhry from Gym Body Fit Garage revealed that Irshad  was present at the Scene of Crime participating with the mob and actively attacking the hopelessly outnumbered Police force.

With regard to accused Sadiq the Court observed that perusal of the material on record  revealed that the Petitioner has been seen on multiple CCTV footage, carrying a danda with co-accused Imran Ansari.

The clinching evidence that tilts this Court to prolong the incarceration of the Petitioner is his presence in the Vishal Chaudhry video wherein he is clearly identified at the Scene of Crime, holding a danda in one hand and pelting stones with his other hand at uniformed officials who at present around him, and are heavily and hopelessly outnumbered. This Court is of the opinion that the Vishal Chaudhary video reveals that the Petitioner is not merely a curious onlooker. The fact that he actively participated and pelted stones at the Police Officials at the Scene of Crime justifies the invocation of Section 149 IPC read with Section 302 IPC in the instant case.”

The Court however granting bail to Shahnawaz,  observed that the audio clip recovered from the mobile phone of Shahnawaz was inconclusive at this juncture as it failed to reveal whether it was the Petitioner who was involved in the acts committed. The audio clips also dd not indicate whether the Petitioner was at the Scene of Crime, and therefore, they cannot form any basis for keeping the Petitioner in prolonged incarceration.

The Court further observed that that the Petitioner cannot be kept in custody only on the basis of the disclosure statements. The veracity of the statements of Ct. Gyan and HC Tejveer under Section 161 Cr.P.C. are also to be dealt with during the course of trial and cannot justify the Petitioner remaining behind bars for a continued period of time.

In view of the facts and circumstances of the cases, the Court said that “the Petitioner cannot be made to languish behind bars for a longer period of time, and that the veracity of the allegations levelled against him can be tested during trial.”

With regard to Mohd Ayyub the Court observed that a perusal of the material on record has revealed to that the video footage wherein Ayyub is seen does not indicate whether the Petitioner was a part of the unlawful assembly.

Shahnawaz and Mohd Ayyub have been granted bail with a condition to  furnish a personal bond of ₹35,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.

On September 3, the Court had granted bail to accused persons Mohd Arif, Furkan, Shadab Ahmed, Suvaleen and Tabassum who were accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act for the same offence.

The facts leading to the case are that on Feb 24, 2020 at about 01:00 PM, the protestors had mobilized near the Chand Bagh area and 25 Futa Road, and were moving towards the Main Wazirabad Road.

When they assembled near Main Wazirabad Road, it is stated that the complainant and other police officers present attempted to convince the protestors to not move towards the Main Wazirabad Road.

It is stated that though the ACP Gokalpuri and DCP Shahdara warned the protestors via loudspeaker of a government vehicle, that lack of adherence to legal warnings would necessitate strict action against the crowd, some people amongst the crowd started pelting stones and beat them with weapons that had been hidden.

This resulted in injuries to several police officers on duty and one of the Head Constables Ratan Lal succumbed to injuries.

 

Case Title: Batch of Petitions