The Allahabad High Court today granted bail to one Azahar Khan accused of assaulting the police officers, damaging police bikes by setting them on fire, and also causing damage to public property during the CAA-NRC Protests.
As per the prosecution's case, a protest against NRC and CAB was organized by Muslim Clerics (Ulemas) of Rampur city and they called the public at Eidgah on December 21, 2019.
In the night of December 20, 2019, the Muslim clerics of Rampur City assured the police administration that considering the atmosphere of Rampur city, the procession has been canceled. The next morning also, the clerics again assured the police that no crowd will be gathered but probably the clerics did not inform the police in this regard.
The police were deployed to maintain law and order and at the same time, a crowd consisting of 116 persons named in the FIR and thousands of unknown persons having arms, sutli bomb, and petrol bombs in their hands reached the crossing and made slogans against the police and attacked the police with bricks and Sutli bombs.
The police appealed to them to disperse but they assaulted the police and also caused damage to the police bikes by setting fire and also caused damage to the nearby shops.
An FIR in the case was registered under sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 302, 353, 186, 143, 323, 333, 188, 435, 336, 427, 395, 325, 120-B IPC and Section 3/4 of Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act and the bail applicant/Azahar Khan was also implicated in the FIR. He was arrested on March 26, 2022.
Seeking bail in the case, Khan moved to the High Court by submitting that he is the ex-chairperson of the Nagar Panchayat and is a politically active person and, therefore, a large number of cases with regard to demonstrations that he had conducted from time to time are lodged against him.
He further submitted that in the instant case also, there was a demonstration going on in which the applicant had participated in a peaceful manner and there was no evidence against him that he, in any manner, caused disharmony or any damage to any person or public property.
On the other hand, the AGA argued that being a political person, the Accused/bail applicant is an influential and effective person and there are repeated cases reported against him in which property was damaged and even in the present case, the law and order situation was seriously disturbed and that he was present during the demonstration but he did not take any steps to calm down the situation.
However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, perusing the record, and also considering the nature of allegations, arguments advanced by the counsels for parties and without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, the bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary found it to be a fit case for granting bail.
Consequently, he was ordered to be released and his bail plea was allowed.
Case title - Azahar Khan v. State of U.P
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 379