The Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to two accused and denied the relief to another in a murder case arising from the 2020 North East Delhi riots.
The high court granted bail to Arif and Anish Qureshi, saying merely because they were part of an unlawful assembly it cannot be assumed that their intention was to commit murder. It noted that the trial is likely to take a long time and the applicants cannot be kept in incarceration for an indefinite period of time.
Justice Amit Bansal, however, denied bail to accused Mohd Mustaqeem, saying there is material on record to show his involvement in the alleged offences of murder and rioting, among others.
The case involves the killing of Rahul Solanki on February 24, 2020 during the communal riots.
The FIR said one of the rioters had fired a pistol and the bullet hit the neck of the deceased.
According to the prosecution, Mustaqeem was allegedly part of the mob and was actively participating in rioting and looting and that he was seen carrying the pistol with which he allegedly killed Solanki.
Perusing the statements of the witnesses, the high court said it appeared that Mustaqeem has been identified by eyewitness as the person who shot Solanki.
“In light of these statements, it cannot be stated that the applicant has been identified only on the basis of the 10-second mobile phone video clip,” it said.
“On a prima facie view, there is material on record to show the involvement of the applicant (Mustaqeem) in the alleged offences. I am in agreement with the submission of the special public prosecutor that the applicant cannot be granted bail only on account of long incarceration, as the applicant has been charged with offences punishable with death or imprisonment for life.
“Considering the aforesaid facts and circumstances in the present case and the fact that material witnesses are yet to be examined, this court does not find any ground to grant bail to the applicant at this stage,” the judge said.
While granting bail to Arif and Qureshi, the high court said merely because the applicants were part of an assembly, it cannot be assumed that the common object of the assembly was to commit a murder or that the applicants knew that a murder was likely to be committed. It is the prosecution’s case that co-accused Mohd Mustaqueem shot the deceased.
The high court granted bail to them on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 35,000 each with a surety, directed them not to leave the country without prior permission of the court concerned and to not engage in any criminal activity.
Communal riots had broken out in North East Delhi on February 24 after clashes between Citizenship (Amendment) ACT (CAA) supporters and those opposing it spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 700 injured.