Dismissing the bail plea of a man accused in the murder of head constable Ratan Lal during the Northeast Delhi riots, a Delhi court noted it was strange that around the time the policeman was murdered, the accused was in touch with his lawyer. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said call detail records (CDR) of accused Shadab Ahmad showed he was in constant touch with proclaimed offenders and co-accused in the case, Suleman Siddiqui and Ravish.
The court said a strange thing has been noticed from Ahmad’s CDR — that around the time of the head constable’s murder, his location was around the spot of the incident and he had received three calls from the counsel who is now representing him in the matter. Without naming the lawyer who was in touch with the accused, the court said, “It could be a coincidence, but not without significance. I will refrain from commenting as to if it was morally or ethically appropriate for learned counsel to have represented the applicant (Ahmad) in the matter.”
It further said a perusal of his CDRs from January 31-February 24 revealed he was in touch with some of the co-accused in the murder case as well in the matter related to the larger “pre-meditated” conspiracy in the riots, being probed by the Special Cell. “Charges against applicant are serious… Applicant is not a resident of Delhi and as such, he would be a flight risk,” the court said.
It noted that though Ahmad has not been seen in CCTV footage collected by police, he has been identified by independent public witnesses and police officials in their statements recorded under CrPC Section 161.
Ahmad’s counsel Seema Misra, Shivam Sharma and Kartik Murukutla told the court during the hearing that he was “maliciously implicated… by investigating agency just because he belongs to a particular community”.
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