Delhi court discharges two men accused of running dance bar flouting Covid-19 norms

🔴 Court ordered a departmental inquiry against police officers for filing a false charge-sheet

Observing that it was without logic to expect customers to wear a mask while eating, a Delhi court has recently discharged two men accused of running a dance bar flouting social distancing norms and ordered a departmental inquiry against senior police officers for filing a false charge-sheet.

As per the prosecution, on March 13, 2021, the police got a tip-off about a dance bar being run out of a hotel, Jannat The Heaven, and that social distancing norms were being flouted inside this bar located in south Rohini. The police, thereafter, arrested Rajbir Singh, the owner of the hotel, and Bikram Randhawa, the manager.

The police claimed that they found seven women dancing in front of 14 other customers and added that 18 staff members were also present inside the premises flouting social distancing norms.

Metropolitan Magistrate Vikas Madaan passed the discharge order stating, “There is no evidence on record to justify framing of charges. This is a clear-cut case of abuse of process of law and highhandedness by the police officials.”

The court said that customers were there to have food and drink. It added that “it is without logic to expect them to wear a mask at the time when they were eating or drinking.”

It noted that the restaurant had a sanctioned strength of 48 customers and only 14 customers were present during the raid.

The court held that despite having all permits and licences which were required to run their business, the present chargesheet has been filed which “clearly demonstrates abuse of process of law and highhandedness of the police.”

The court said that the chargesheet may have been filed owing to extraneous reasons known to the SHO, IO and other officials. Thereafter, the court asked the Joint CP, DCP to initiate strict disciplinary action against the IO, SHO and the ACP as a false chargesheet has been filed in the present case.

Advocate Pradeep Khatri, who appeared on behalf of the accused, argued that charges cannot be framed against the accused owing to absence of public witnesses.

The state prosecutor argued that at the stage of framing charges, only the prima facie case has to be considered.

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