The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a 63-year-old man accused of pelting stones and instigating attacks on people belonging to another community during the riots which shook north-east Delhi in February 2020 (Liyakat Ali vs State).
A single-judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that admittedly, there was no electronic evidence like CCTV footage or videography or photograph to establish his presence at the crime spot.
The Court opined that since the investigation was complete, no purpose would be served in keeping him behind bars.
The accused, Liyakat Ali (petitioner) had been in judicial custody since the date of his arrest in April 2020 in connection with FIR for the alleged commission of offences under Sections 147/148/149153A/ 505/307/120B/34 IPC and Sections 27/30 Arms Act.
The FIR alleged that as per the mobile location of the petitioner, he was present at the spot of alleged incident, pelted stones and instigated rioters to attack people from other community.
It was added that his son Riasat Ali was also involved with him and that as per the medical examination of the injured, Ajay Goswami, the nature of injuries sustained by him were ‘dangerous’.
The petitioner sought bail on the ground that he was falsely implicated in the FIR in question as well as in other two FIRs pending against him.
It was submitted that there was no clinching evidence on record against the petitioner and since the charge sheet had already been filed, petitioner’s custody was no longer required.
The prosecution opposed grant of bail to the petitioner on the ground that he was liable for criminal acts committed by the mobs gathered on February 25, 2020 and did not deserve concession of bail.
Apart from considering that there was no electronic evidence to establish the petitioner’s presence at the crime spot, the Court also noted that none of the witnesses made a complaint with respect to the alleged incident on the date when it took place.
“..petitioner was arrested on the statement of Pradeep Verma, whose first statement was recorded on 28.03.2020 and thereafter, supplementary statement on 23.04.2020. According to his statement, he had seen petitioner pelting stones and actively participating in the riots with the mob. It is an admitted fact that Pradeep Verma did not make any PCR call or complaint to any authority regarding petitioner’s involvement prior to 28.03.2020, i.e., the day when his first statement was recorded.
Statements of Constable Saudan and Constable Pawan were recorded on 06.06.2020 and 24.03.2020 respectively. They had also not made any complaint or DD entry regarding incident in question even though they were posted in the area and witnessed the alleged incident,” the Court said.
Since charge sheet had already been filed and investigation was complete, the Court said that no purpose would be served by keeping the petitioner behind bars.
Without commenting on the merits of the case, the Court accordingly granted bail to the petitioner on his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 with one surety in the like amount.
Advocate Dinesh Tiwari appeared for the petitioner.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for the State with SPPs Amit Mahajan, Rajat Nair and Advocates Shantanu Sharma, Dhruv Pande, Sairica Raju, A Venkatesh, Guntur Pramod Kumar, Shaurya R Rai, Zeal Shah, Aarushi Singh, Anshuman Singh.