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Delhi HC grants bail to riot accused, says witnesses against him seem planted

Police had submitted that around 100 people were standing on the terrace of Hussain’s house and throwing petrol bombs on the houses of other community.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi | Updated: October 9, 2020 7:11:48 am
Delhi riots, delhi news, delhi police, delhi riots temple vandalism, delhi riots, delhi riots bail, delhi courtAfter the riots in February this year. (Express Archive)

THE DELHI High Court has granted bail to an accused in a Delhi riots case, observing that the witnesses against him seem to be planted. The accused, Irshad Ahmad, was booked in an FIR registered against people alleged to have used former AAP councilor Tahir Hussain’s house for attacking houses of the other community.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, in an order, said there is no electronic evidence such as CCTV footage or photos to implicate Ahmad in the case. The FIR was registered at Dayalpur police station on February 28. “As per the statement of Constable Pawan and Constable Ankit (both are eyewitnesses and present at the spot), they had identified the petitioner and other co-accused. However, they have not made any complaint on the date of incident, i.e. 25.02.2020, whereas FIR was lodged on 28.02.2020. Thus, the said witnesses seem to be planted,” the order said.

Opposing the bail, police had argued that Ahmad’s name was disclosed by co-accused Hussain and that they are associates. Police had submitted that around 100 people were standing on the terrace of Hussain’s house and throwing petrol bombs on the houses of other community.

The court was also told one of the eyewitnesses, Rohit, has confirmed Ahmad’s role and identification, and that mobile phone location of the accused also shows his presence at the spot.

However, the court said the chargesheet has already been filed in the case and trial will take substantial time. “Without commenting on the merits of the case, this court is inclined to grant bail to the petitioner,” it said.

The HC bench, in the order dated October 7 said, “He shall be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 and with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court/duty judge.”
“The trial court shall not get influenced by the observation made by this court while passing the order,” said the bench.

The trial court, while dismissing Ahmad’s application in August, said that at this stage, it cannot be said with certainty that he did not have a common object with the other persons of “unlawful assembly”.

The court had also noted that at the time of search of Hussain’s house, “a number of acid pouches, petrol bombs, stones and catapults were recovered”.

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