Delhi Riots: Accused Seeks Bail Claiming Huge Delay in Trial

An accused, who allegedly pointed a pistol at a police head constable during the communal violence in the northeast Delhi in February 2020, Monday sought bail from the Delhi High Court claiming there was a huge delay in the trial.

Shahrukh Pathan said in the last over one year and three months only two witnesses in the case out of 40 have been examined.

The submissions were made before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma who listed the matter for further hearing on May 2 and directed the counsel for police and Pathan to file their brief written submissions.

During the hearing, Pathan’s counsel argued that though the charges were framed in the case in December 2021, only two prosecution witnesses have been examined so far.

“There is a huge delay in conclusion of trial,” the counsel contended, while claiming that Pathan was also attacked in the jail.

The counsel said he had filed the bail plea in January 2022 and it has been pending for over a year.

The Delhi Police, in its status report filed in March 2022, have opposed the bail plea of Pathan, saying he has a criminal family history and can adversely influence the witnesses.

Police have said the accused can threaten and endanger the safety of prosecution witnesses and abscond, if granted bail, and can also hamper the process of investigation and destroy evidence.

They have also claimed the accused has no remorse for his illegal actions.

The case relates to rioting, causing injuries to police personnel and inflicting gunshot wound on a man named Rohit Shukla by an armed mob in the Jafrabad.

The status report has stated, “The accused has been keeping illegal arm and ammunition and has no remorse for his illegal act. His daring act of firing at a policeman and the public shows that if released on bail, he can repeat such a criminal act. “

It said there are police and public witnesses who have identified him. The report said from the criminal family background of Pathan and his desperate nature, it can be inferred that he can adversely influence the witnesses.

The report said the statement of the eyewitnesses and seized CCTV footage establish that Pathan was leading the mob and indulged in the act of rioting on February 24, 2020 during which he fired at the complainant and public from his pistol.

Pathan approached the high court after his bail plea was rejected by a trial court in December 2021.

The trial court was of the view that the CCTV footage of a nearby camera installed at the relevant location showed his presence in the riotous mob.

An FIR was registered under various sections of the IPC, including rioting, armed with a deadly weapon, unlawful assembly, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, assault, or criminal force to deter public servant from his duty, voluntarily causing hurt, attempt to murder, statements conducing to public mischief and criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Arms Act.

Pathan was arrested on March 3, 2020 from Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district and is currently lodged in a jail here.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24, 2020 between new citizenship law supporters and protesters. At least 53 people were killed and scores injured.

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