A Delhi court refused to grant Delhi Police custody of Rajdhani Public School owner Faisal Farooq, who was arrested in connection with a Northeast Delhi riot-related case, noting that the investigating officer knew the facts of the case from the first day but the application was moved after a delay of four months.
Farooq was recently granted bail in connection with a riot case, with the judge noting that the police “chargesheet is bereft of material showing the links of applicant with PFI, Pinjra Tod group and Muslim clerics”. Police had moved Delhi High Court to cancel his bail, following which the HC had stayed the trial court’s order. Later, Farooq’s lawyers had informed High Court that he was arrested in a separate case related to the riots.
Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Parihar, who refused to grant police four days custody of the accused, noted, “I do not find any justification in moving the present application after delay of about four months when the facts were within the knowledge of the IO himself from the very first day of incident, moreover, both cases are simultaneously registered at the same police station i.e. Dayalpur. Considering overall facts and circumstance of the case…I do not consider it a fit case for grant of police custody remand of accused.”
The investigating officer had informed the court that “76 FIRs have been registered and that the facts of the present case are different” from the case in which Farooq was granted bail. The IO argued that they required the custody of the accused for further investigation, the arrest of co-accused persons and to collect corroborative evidence in the present case.
Farooq’s lawyer R K Kochar opposed the police remand, arguing that it was “an abuse of process of law”. Kochar had argued that the “FIR in the present case has been malafidely registered against the accused on the same facts”. He also submitted that “accused was formally arrested in present case on 22.06.2020 only to defeat the purpose of bail granted to accused” in the previous case.
The court had noted that it was a matter of record that when Farooq was arrested in the previous case, the police had got his three-day custody on the pretext that he was to be taken to various places of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and some parts of Delhi. The court noted that the allegations in both FIRs were similar and took place on the same day “thus the ingredient of the alleged offence in both FIRs are more or less similar”.
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