Court casts doubt on police witnesses in north-east Delhi violence, grants bail to 7 persons

TCN News

New Delhi: A Delhi court Tuesday granted bail to 7 persons in a case related to the north-east Delhi riots while casting doubts on the credibility of the two police witnesses in the matter.

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Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted the relief to Mohd Tahir and Shahrukh etc on furnishing a bail bond in the case of alleged vandalism and torching of a shop by a riotous mob in Gokalpuri area.

The court noted that the prosecution was opposing both the bail pleas on the strength of their categorical identification by beat officers — Constable Vipin and Head Constable Hari Babu — in their statements recorded under section 161 (examination by police) of the Code of Criminal Procedure on April 7, 2020. It noted that Tahir has neither been named in the FIR nor there are specific allegations against him in the matter. Their identification was hardly of any consequence, it said, adding that even though they were posted as beat officers in the area at the relevant time of the incident, they waited till April to name the accused when they had categorically seen and identified them allegedly indulging in riots on February 25, 2020.

“Being police officials, what stopped them from reporting the matter then and there in the police station or to bring the same in the knowledge of higher police officers. This cast a serious doubt on the credibility of two police witnesses,” the court said in its order. It further said that the CCTV footage relied upon by the police in the case pertained to February 24, 2020, whereas the incident took place the next day. “No CCTV/video footage of February 25, 2020, (on which date the incident in question took place) has been placed on record by the investigating agency. It also said both the accused were entitled for grant of bail on the ground of parity as the role assigned to them was on identical footing as co-accused Rashid who was already enlarged on bail.

During the hearing, Jamiat advocate Salim Malik, appearing for the accused, claimed they have been falsely implicated in the matter and were mere “bonafide bystanders”.

It is to be noted that the accused falsely arrested by the Delhi police have gotten bail in 161 cases till now due to persistent legal struggle of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. Many poor families who did not have resources to fight cases approached Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani. Maulana Madani who reconstructed houses for the Delhi riots victims, appointed a battery of advocates to fight cases on behalf of innocent persons framed in Delhi riot cases.

Jamiat secretary Advocate Niaz Ahmad Farooqui who looks after cases of Delhi riots, said that there are many families which have no bread earners except the accused who are languishing in jail for ten months. He noted that rickshaw puller Sharukh Kardampuri is an instance. No one in his family which consisted of his old parents was bread earner except him. His family was not even able to bear travel expenses of visiting the advocates. Sharukh finally got bail on December 31, 2021.  Farooqui asserted that Jamiat will fight their cases until they are acquitted.