Delhi riots: HC grants bail to accused, says ‘his identification is at variance’

The Delhi High Court said that the police’s identification of the accused before the trial court and the HC is at variance which prima facie brings the prosecution case under the cloud.

Granting bail to an accused in a Northeast Delhi riots case, the Delhi High Court has said that the police’s identification of him before the trial court and the HC is at variance which prima facie brings the prosecution case under the cloud.

“In one of the videos played before this Court, a person (allegedly the petitioner) ‘showing his back’ and walking with the mob is shown, whereas, in another clipping, the distance between the camera and person is such that the face and features cannot be seen clearly to identify correctly as to who the person is. Further, the case of the prosecution is that the petitioner had burnt his clothes to hide his identity and these facts, prima facie brings the case of prosecution under the cloud,” Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said in an order.

The accused is facing charges in a case registered by Dayalpur Police station on February 25 last year regarding the Chand Bagh incident where allegedly the policemen “were brutally attacked by a mob during riots”. Head Constable Ratan Lal died and other senior police officers sustained injuries in the alleged attack. The accused was named in the fourth supplementary chargesheet filed in the case on the basis of CCTV and other video footages and arrested on November 19 last year.

The counsel representing the accused before the HC had also argued that he was suffering from Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorder at the time of the alleged incident and the mental illness “indicates that the patient would suffer from delusions, hallucination, inconsistent and incoherent speech and behaviour.” However, the prosecution argued that there are different subtypes of ATPD.

The court said the ground of mental illness or fitness of the accused is a matter of trial and if the person shown in the CCTV footage and video played before the court is the accused, then “he was a part of mob involved in riots and has pelted stones on the police personnel with an intention to cause injury and harm to stop them in performing their duties”. The court added that nothing stops the parties to establish their case at trial.

“The petitioner is behind bars in this case since 19.11.2020 and in view of facts and circumstances of this case, this Court finds that petitioner cannot be made to languish behind bars for an indefinite period of time,” reads the court order.

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