2020 Delhi Riots: Court Grants Bail to Man Accused of Killing Head Constable

 A Delhi court  has granted bail to a man accused of being a part of the riotous mob that allegedly killed Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing the bail plea of accused Shahid against whom (along with other co-accused persons) the city police had filed a chargesheet under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including sections 302 (murder) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object).

According to the prosecution, a riotous mob attacked police at Chand Bagh near Peer Baba Dargah on February 24, 2020, resulting in the death of Lal from a gunshot injury and serious injuries to the then Shahdara DCP Amit Sharma, then ACP Gokalpuri Anuj Kumar and another head constable Chetrapal.

“For the purpose of bail, keeping in view the evidence produced by the prosecution against him, I find applicant…to be entitled to the same and accordingly, applicant Shahid is admitted to bail on his furnishing personal bond and surety bond of Rs 10,000 each with one surety in the like amount,” ASJ Pramachala said in his order passed on Tuesday.

Noting the evidence, the judge said Shahid was arrested by the Special Cell officials, who recovered a service revolver and live cartridges at the accused’s instance and the said weapon was allegedly snatched from head constable Chetrapal.

The judge further noted that the prosecution relied upon the statement of a witness who identified Shahid to be part of the riotous mob that had attacked police but no test identification parade (TIP) of Shahid was conducted through Chetrapal.

“Prosecution has made allegations of snatching of the service pistol against the applicant, on the basis of the presumption that since he had possession of that revolver, therefore, he would have snatched the same. All such issues would be a matter of appreciation during further proceedings,” the judge said.

During the proceedings, the prosecution opposed the bail plea, alleging the accused persons had killed Lal and tried to kill members of the police team, including DCP Sharma, ACP Kumar and head constable Chetrapal, who received grievous injury on his head.

The prosecution claimed Shahid did not cooperate with the investigating agency during his custodial interrogation and that the recovered revolver and cartridges were “robbed” from Chetrapal.

“Till date, 25 accused persons have been arrested in this case, out of which only 17 accused persons are on bail. In most of the cases, the Delhi High Court has dismissed their bail applications,” the prosecution said.

It said three accused persons namely Suleman Siddiqui, Ayaz Khan and Khalid have been declared proclaimed offenders and are yet to be arrested in the case.

Counsel for Shahid argued that the applicant was falsely booked in the case and fake recovery of the weapon along with live cartridges has been shown.

The other conditions of bail included the accused not leaving the country, intimating the court about any change in address or other particulars, and providing his mobile phone number, besides not trying to influence any other witness, the court said. 

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