A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to a youth who is alleged to be a member of a group namely Hindu Kattar Ekta, in connection with the 2020 North East Delhi riots.
While granting the bail to the accused the court pulled up Delhi police for misleading it by not disclosing the fact. This case was registered for the alleged murder of a person in the Gokul Puri area during the Delhi riots of 2020.
Additional Sessions judge Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma Court on Friday granted bail to Rishabh Chaudhary in a case related to the alleged murder of a person during riots.
As already observed, cited eyewitnesses have been examined, but they did not establish the incident in question. The other two remaining witnesses did not claim to have seen any person in the mob, the court said.
In view of my above-mentioned observations and the present situation in the case, I find the applicant to be entitled for bail. Hence, the bail application is allowed and applicant Rishabh Chaudhary is admitted to bail.
The court granted him bail on his furnishing Personal Bond in the sum of Rs.30,000 and a surety bond in the like amount.
The court has imposed the condition that the accused shall not leave India without express permission of the court.
While granting bail, the judge made a serious observation regarding the conduct of the IO.
The Judge said, “On the record, I find that the prosecution has examined the cited alleged eyewitnesses, but none supported the case of prosecution before the court.”
The Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) argued that Prosecution witness Nisar Ahmad identified the applicant and he submitted that this witness was referred in the reply of IO, the judge added.
However, on perusal of testimony of Nisar Ahmed also, I find that he had given a description of having seen riots on February 24, 25 and 26, 2020, but did
not say anything about the incident probed in this case, the judge pointed out.
The court said that Even on the basis of the testimony of Nisar Ahmed, the prosecution cannot say that applicant was identified as a member of the mob, which was alleged to be behind the incident that allegedly took place on February 25, 2020, at about 7:30 to 8 pm.
The judge observed, “Thus, I find that in the name of opposing bail application through a reply, the prosecution has attempted to mislead the court, rather than
assisting in a fair manner to project the correct picture of the developments taken place in the case.”
The judge said, “Any reply being filed by IO/prosecution must be with an objective to assist the court.”
For this purpose, it is necessary to have fair and transparent reporting of the facts and situation. If the reply is filed in a jealous manner, thereby suppressing the material facts, it cannot be said to be assistance to the court, the judge added.
“Hence, I find that there is a requirement to sensitize all the IOs in respect of their duty towards the court, so as to assist in a fair manner, rather than adopting the practice of hide and seek. Hence, once again I call upon the learned Commissioner of Police to do the needful for proper sensitization of all the IOs in this respect,” the judge said.
The applicant is facing trial along with co-accused persons for an alleged murder during riots.
In this case, information was received in the police station Gokalpuri on February 27, 2020, at 4 pm that a dead body of a person was found in Ganda Nala near Johripur Pulia.
The body was taken out from the nala and sent to GTB hospital, where it was declared brought dead by the doctor.
The dead body was preserved at the Mortuary, GTB hospital. On the basis of these facts, an FIR was registered.
On February 29, 2020, the body of the deceased was identified by his relatives as Mushraff.
As per the postmortem report, as many as 12 external injuries were found on the body of the deceased.
It was stated in the bail application that Rishabh Chaudhary was arrested on the basis of a disclosure statement of the main accused Lokesh Solanki. No recovery has been effected from the possession of the applicant.
It was argued by the counsel for the accused that he was never related to the “Kattar Hindu Ekta” WhatsApp group, directly or indirectly. Material witnesses of the prosecution have already been examined, who have not supported the case of the prosecution. Witnesses left to be examined are planted, witnesses.
Advocate Rakshpal Singh counsel for the accused argued that Rishabh Chaudhary has been falsely implicated in the present case and he has nothing to do with the commission of any offence.
No material witness or any substantive piece of evidence remains against the applicant.
The applicant is a student of graduation aged 22 years and no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him in jail, the counsel argued.
On the other hand, Investigation Officer (IO) and Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) opposed the bail application of the accused.
It was submitted that the accused is involved in cases of communal violence and carnage of innocent persons which is a very serious crime.
It was also argued that the sections imposed show the severity of the punishment in the event of a conviction.
The applicant along with co-accused persons mercilessly killed nine innocent persons with whom the applicant or his co-accused had no previous enmity, the SPP argued.
The witnesses in the present case and the connected cases are residents of the same locality where the applicant resides, so in case the applicant is enlarged on bail there are definite chances that the applicant may threaten or tamper with the evidence, Delhi police argued. Some of the witnesses are to be examined.
It was also argued that the location of the accused’s mobile phone, was on the spot during the commission of the crime. There is Call connectivity with other accused persons.
The court noted that In the reply, apart from giving the gist of the investigation done in this case, IO referred to the statement of alleged eye-witness Aman Saxena as given to police.
In that statement, according to the prosecution this witness had identified the rioters and had named them. In the description of exact evidence against the applicant, IO has simply mentioned the name of the cited witness and relied upon alleged eyewitnesses.
In the concluding part of the reply, IO has mentioned that the trial of the case is in the advanced stage and during the same one witness had positively identified the applicant, the court noted.
However, IO has not mentioned the name of such witness, which according to him identified the applicant, the court further noted.
The court said, “As per the record of this case, Aman Saxena has already been examined and in his testimony before the court, he categorically stated that he had not identified anyone in the mob on February 24 and on 25, 2020, he did not come out of his home at any point of time.”
He also stated that he did not mention the name of any person as a member of the mob seen by him on February 25, 2020, before the police, nor did he identify anyone before the police, the court added.
The judge observed, “Interestingly, the statement of this witness was though recorded in the presence of SPP and IO, but the reply filed by IO today does not refer to a such statement of this witness.”
It is well within the knowledge of ld. Special PP and IO that statement before the police, cannot stand before the testimony given before the court and hence, the purpose of not mentioning the testimony of this witness given before the court, appears to be nothing, but to mislead this court on the basis of his statement recorded before police, the court added.
The court directed to send the Copy of this order to the Commissioner of Police to
take necessary steps as per observations made herein above.
Copy of order be also sent to Jail Superintendent for intimation to the applicant.