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Bail Applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely because other persons part of the riotous mob have to be identified: Delhi Court [READ ORDER]

Karkardooma Court Bail Applicant riotous mob
The Karkardooma Court of Delhi on Wednesday (25th November 2020) granted bail to a man named Salim Malik a.k.a Munna, who was arrested in a case, for allegedly damaging, vandalizing and thereafter setting on fire a car showroom on 25.02.2020.

A bail application was filed on the ground of Parity as earlier the four co-accused persons namely Imran, Dildar, Faraza, and Rafat had already been granted regular bail and recently co-accused Mohd. Ayub has also been granted regular bail by this Court. 

The Counsel Shri Salim Malik pointed out that the role assigned to him in the matter is on the same/identical footing as that of co-accused Mohd. Ayub.

The brief synopsis of the facts which led to the registration of FIR in this matter reads as under:

  1. The FIR was registered on 05.03.2020 on the complaint of one Shri Rajesh Singh, S/o Shri K.M.P Singh, owner of Fair Deal Cars Pvt. Ltd. (Maruti Authorized Showroom)
  2. In his written complaint dated 28.02.2020 stated that his aforesaid car showroom was completely damaged, vandalized and thereafter set on fire by the riotous mob on 25.02.2020 as a result of which six cars, accessories, computers, printers, air-conditioners, furniture, etc. were completely burnt and he suffered a loss to the tune of around Rs.3.50 Crores (approximately) on this account.
Arguments by Counsel for the applicant:

The learned counsel for the applicant has very vehemently argued which reads as under:

  1. That applicant has been falsely implicated in the matter by the investigating agency.
  2. That there is an “unexplained delay” of about nine (09) days in the registration of FIR in this case.
  3. The applicant is neither named in the FIR nor any specific role has been alleged against him in the matter.
  4. That the applicant was not present at the alleged scene of the crime (SOC) on the date of the incident.
  5. that the applicant has not been subjected to judicial TIP and the alleged identification of applicant by PW Zahid Hasan from a large mob in absence of TIP, that too after the lapse of around two and a half (2½) months of the alleged incident cannot be relied upon
  6. The applicant cannot be roped in the matter merely by invoking Section 149 IPC, as the applicant never shared any “common object” with the rioters.
  7. In the end, it is submitted that investigation in the matter is complete; charge sheet has already been filed; the applicant is no more required for custodial interrogation; and no useful purpose would be served by keeping him behind bars in the matter, as the trial of the case is likely to take a long time
Arguments by Counsel for State:

Per contra, the learned counsel for the state has also very vehemently argued which reads as under:

  1. That the communal riots in North-East Delhi were of a very high magnitude, wherein 53 innocent lives were lost and a lot of public and private property was damaged/vandalized and looted and several vehicles, houses, and business establishments were set on fire
  2. These riots were part of a large scale conspiracy hatched at various levels all over Delhi in the aftermath of the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (in short “CAA”) and the same did not take place spontaneously
  3. The applicant has been categorically identified by one public witness namely Zahid Hasan, (vide his statement recorded under Section 161 Cr. P.C) as part/member of the riotous mob, who was present at the scene of the crime (SOC) on the date of the incident and taking an active part in the rioting. His identity has further been established by Constable Mukesh, who was Beat Constable of the area in question on the date of the incident.
  4. That CDR location of mobile phone number belonging to the applicant has been found to be at or around the scene of the crime (SOC) on the date of the incident.
  5. With regards to contention concerning the delay in filing of FIR, it was argued that the riots at or around the scene of the crime were “very fierce” from 23.02.2020 till 26.02.2020. Several persons were injured; public and private properties worth crores of rupees were vandalized, arsoned, and torched. There was a curfew-like atmosphere at or around the area. The police officials of PS Dayalpur remained busy in law and order duty and as such, a delay in recording of FIRs took place.
  6. That although the charge sheet in the matter has been filed, yet the investigation of the case is still in progress; many persons who were part of the “riotous mob” need to be identified and arrested; the “conspiracy angle” behind such a large-scale riot needs to be unearthed; and there is every chance that if released on bail, the applicant may threaten the public witness, who is resident of the same locality and as such, the dismissal of the instant application has been prayed for.
Court Observation

After hearing both parties at length court observe that 

  1. The applicant has neither been named in the FIR nor there are any specific allegations against him. Admittedly, no CCTV footage of the incident in question is available on record
  2. The prosecution, in this case, is opposing the bail application of the applicant on the strength of his categorical identification by PW Zahid Hasan and also on the identification of the applicant by Beat Constable Mukesh.
  3. On the basis of said statement of PW Zahid Hasan, the applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity in the present matter.
  4. As regards the CDR location, the court finds substance in the submissions of learned counsel for the applicant that he is a resident of the same area/locality and that’s why his CDR location is being shown at or around the scene of the crime (SOC) on the date of the incident.
  5. This Court is not able to understand as to why said Beat Constable waited till the arrest of the applicant to name the applicant. Being a police official, what stopped him from reporting the matter then and there in the PS or to bring the same in the knowledge of higher police officers. This cast serious doubt on the credibility of this witness also.
After considering all facts and circumstances in totality the court granted bail on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs.20,000/- with one surety.

The Court also noted the conditions to be followed by the applicant after getting bail and directed him to install Aarogya Setu App on his mobile.

 

[READ ORDER]


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