[Delhi Riots] Delhi Court denies bail to Saleem Khan in larger conspiracy case

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A Delhi Court has denied bail to accused Mohd. Saleem Khan in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, noting that 

Khan faced charges under Sections 13/16/17/18 of the UA(P)Act, 120B read with Section 109/114/124A/147/148/149/153A/186/201/212/434/435/307/307 etc IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of the Prevention of
Damage to Public Property Act,1984 and Section 25/27 Arms Act.

Refusing bail to Saleem Khan the Court has noted that Khan was one of organizers of the Chand Bagh protest site where inflammatory speeches were given - a fact which is supported by witness statements. 

Perusing CCTV footages, the Court held, "The footages filed by the prosecution does show a concerted and premeditated effort of mobilization of rioters who are armed and who ultimately blocked the Main Wazirabad road and attacked police personnel in the most brutal manner." 

Saleem was found to be an active part of the mob where the protests had escalated into riots. On Saleem's role, the Court noted a witness' statement that in Chand Bagh around Jan 15, 2020 when protest against CAA-NRC started near his house, Saleem Khan was one of those who started it. The witness also saw Councilor Tahir   Hussain visiting to give money for the same.

The Court relied on another witness' statement wherein it was said that the people in the mob used to provoke people on the basis of religion against the government. 

The Court noted that, Saleem Khan alongwith 2 others was found to say in his speeches that the "Central Govt is a govt if Hindus and against Muslims. Till the time Govt Officers and Kaafirs are not killed, this govt will not take back CAA/NRC."

The Court further highlighted that "in the instance, the DCP (Shahdara), ACP, Gokul Puri, and HC Ratan Lal were attacked on the Main Wazirabad Road." HC Rattan Lal was killed and others were seriously injured.

Saleem Khan was identified as one among those present there for violence and where violence was used on policemen and common people. He was found to be in the mob on Feb 24, 2020, which had stones, dandas, swords and rods with them.

On perusing the contents of the charge­sheet and accompanying documents, the Court held that "for the limited purpose of the bail, I am of the opinion that allegations against the accused Mohd. Saleem Khan are prima facie true."

It added that "there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against the accused Mohd. Saleem Khan are prima facie true, hence, embargo created by Section 43D of UAPA applies for grant of bail and also, the embargo contained in Section 437 CrPC.

Cause Title: State vs Tahir Hussain & Ors.