The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed the bail plea of a man arrested in connection with the communal riots in northeast Delhi, observing the “investigation is at crucial stage” as the police have stated that the “video footage have been preserved and are yet to be examined”. The riots claimed 53 lives and injured over 300.
Justice Mukta Gupta rejected the bail plea filed by Shadab Alam who has been booked by the police under various sections of the IPC including rioting and under Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (PDPP Act).
The accused, who works with a pharmaceutical shop, claimed in his bail plea that he is in illegal custody since February 24 and that there has been no recovery from his personal search.
His counsel argued before the court that there is no evidence till date of Alam’s involvement in the alleged offence.
The FIR against Alam and eight others is one among the several cases registered in the aftermath of riots that took place in the area of Dayal Pur Police Station in northeast, from the intervening night of February 22 -24.
According to the court record:“This FIR was registered after a PCR call was received and the Head Constable on reaching the spot found the vehicles… have been put on fire.
“As per the prosecution, statement of two eyewitnesses were recorded, one of whom signed the arrest memo. Statement of only one witness who had also signed the arrest memo has been produced before this court (High Court).”
Justice Gupta noted in her order that the statement of eyewitness was recorded only on February 28, 2020, which does not identify any accused.
“There is undoubtedly a mystery surrounding the arrest of the petitioner and co-accused which is further fortified by the nature of injuries received by Alam as would be investigated in the course of events.
“It is also strange that even as per the prosecution, Alam and co-accused were arrested on February 28, 2020 and produced before the Magistrate on the same day and no police custody remand was sought, nor was an application filed for conducting TIP (Test identification parade) by the other witness who was not present at the time of arrest. Statement of this witness recorded under Section 161 CrPC has also not been produced,” it noted.
In its order, the High Court further noted that Alam has also pressed into service the CCTV footage of February 24 when he claims to have been arrested along with one Naved and kept in “illegal confinement and only when the application was filed by the co-accused persons alleging illegal detention since February 24, 2020 the arrest of the petitioner have been shown in the present FIR”.
“Since the investigation is going on and the persons who were present at the spot are required to be ascertained by scientific evidence and even if found that the petitioner is part of the unlawful assembly, even though he may not have individually torched any vehicle or the shops, he would be liable for the offences. At this stage, this court finds no ground to grant bail to the petitioner,” the court said in its seven-page order.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines