A Delhi Court, while declining a bail application of an accused facing murder & other serious charges in association with the Northeast Delhi violence, observed that CCTV footage is an additional tool of evidence and not the exclusive medium to prove an offence.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat also noted that accused Salman was arrested on March 12, 2020, on the basis of a declaration of a public observer namely Tahir, who had recognized Salman as part of amob indulging in rioting in Maujpur chowk on Feb 24. "It is admitted case that there is no CCTV footage of the present event. though, purely because there is no CCTV footage, does not mean that an occurrence never happened or that the claimant is not caught up in the commission of the present offence. CCTV footage is an supplementary tool of proof and not the exclusive medium to show an offence," the Court observed.
It added that "Considering the discussion about the incident & the role of the accused/ applicant Salman in the commission of the offence as per the charge-sheet, the court does not find it a fit case to grant bail to the accused. Hence, the bail application of accused Salman stands dismissed". Lawyer Abdul Gaffar, in lieu of accused Salman, submitted that Salman has a history of smack obsession & has reported symptoms of pain in kidney, liver & throat. It was further submitted that the applicant is not covered by any CCTV footage; no improvement was made from the applicant & the blame against him are sham. Additonal Public Prosecutor Jitender Jain, on the other hand, strongly opposed the bail application stating that the offence is very grave in nature. He argued that the FIR arose out of an occurrence of Feb 24, 2020, when at about 11:30 pm riots broke out at Maujpur chowk, Jafrabad leading to stone assail & firing incidents among Pro CAA activitist. Jain submitted, "When the police staff tried to intervene & control the situation, the violent mob attacked the police officials too, ensuing in inducing injuries to several police officials. This aside the brutual mob also showered stones & fired upon public persons/passersby. One passerby namely Rohit Shukla sustained gunshot injury induced by the angry mob & one person namely Vinod Kumar died during riots near Brahampuri". He further added that four more accused persons have been arrested in the matter & some more have been acknowledged & exploration is at crucial stage. Jain said that "Moreover, co-accused Sajjad is still running away. The accused may hinder the safety & protection of witnesses if blown up on bail". At least 53 people were killed & hundreds of others were wounded in the brutality that took place in northeast Delhi between Feb 24 & 26 sparked by clashes between groups sustaining & opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.