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Riots case: HC grants bail to sr citizen; says no photo, video on record to show presence

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a 63-year-old man, arrested for allegedly pelting stones and instigating rioters to attack people during the communal violence in north east Delhi in February last year, noting that there was no video footage or photograph on record to establish his presence at the spot of the incident.

The high court said the charge sheet has already been filed in the case and investigation is complete, so no purpose would be served in keeping accused Liyakat Ali behind bars.

“The petitioner (Ali) is a 63 years old man. Admittedly, no electronic evidence like CCTV footage or videography or photograph has been placed on record to establish petitioner’s presence at the spot at the time of the alleged incident,” Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said.

“Therefore, without commenting on the merits of the case, the petitioner (Ali) is directed to be released on bail forthwith on his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court concerned. The petitioner shall not directly or indirectly influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence,” the high court said.

Ali has been in judicial custody since April 7, 2020 in the FIR registered at Dayalpur Police Station in north east Delhi.

The role attributed to him in the FIR was that as per his mobile location, Ali was present at the spot of the alleged incident and he had allegedly pelted stones and instigated rioters to attack people from the other community.

Police alleged that his son was also involved with him and as per the medical report of an injured person, the nature of injuries sustained by him were dangerous.

The man sought bail on the ground that he has been falsely implicated in this case as well as in two other FIRs and claimed that there was no clinching evidence on record connecting him with the alleged incident.

The plea said that the charge sheet in this case has already been filed and he is no more required for the purpose of investigation.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the prosecution, opposed the bail plea saying Ali was liable for criminal acts committed by the mob gathered on February 25 last year and, therefore, he does not deserve concession of bail and his petition deserves rejection.

He said Ali was initially arrested March 7, 2020, then on March 23, 2020 and later on April 7 last year in separate cases relating to the violence.

The high court noted that Ali was arrested on the statement of one Pradeep Verma, whose first statement was recorded on March 28, 2020 and thereafter, supplementary statement was recorded on April 23, 2020.

According to his statement, he had seen Ali pelting stones and actively participating in the riots with the mob, the court noted in the order, and added that it was an admitted fact that the witness did not make any PCR call or complaint to any authority regarding the petitioner’s involvement prior to March 28, 2020, when his first statement was recorded.

It said statements of two police officials were also recorded and they had also not made any complaint or DD entry with regard to the incident even though they were posted in the area and witnessed the alleged incident.

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