30 Jan 2023 9:04 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court on Saturday granted bail to the Welfare Party Of India Leader Javed Mohammad who is the prime accused in the June 2022 Prayagraj Violence case. He has been accused of leading the mob which allegedly damaged public property and set police vehicles on fire.The bench of Justice Sameer Jain observed that from the perusal of the FIR and the statements of prosecution...
The Allahabad High Court on Saturday granted bail to the Welfare Party Of India Leader Javed Mohammad who is the prime accused in the June 2022 Prayagraj Violence case. He has been accused of leading the mob which allegedly damaged public property and set police vehicles on fire.
The bench of Justice Sameer Jain observed that from the perusal of the FIR and the statements of prosecution witnesses recorded during the investigation, it appears that general allegations were made against all the accused persons including the applicant.
"It is neither alleged in the FIR nor in the statements of prosecution witnesses recorded during the investigation that applicant was either instigating the people or was leading the mob or he was having any weapon in his hand or was hurling bomb or set the vehicles on fire," the Court categorically observed as it found it a fit case to grant him bail.
It has been alleged that on June 10, 2022, after the Friday prayers, a furious crowd of thousands of people started pelting stones and bombs on the policemen and passers-by an they also tried to snatch the mobiles of police employees and threw stones at them, which were fatal as many personnel got injured.
As per the allegations, the protest turned violent after the protestors started pelting stones at security forces personnel while chanting slogans and when the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) used lathi charges to disperse the crowd, some personnel got injured due to the stone-pelting, that was being done from the side of the protestors. Police vehicles were also damaged during the protest.
The State police have alleged that Mohammad had given a call for the protest (which turned violent) against the controversial statements of a BJP leader on the Prophet Mohammad.
Consequently, he was challaned under Section 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 153-B, 295A, 307, 332, 336, 353, 435, 427, 504, 505(2), 506, 120-B IPC, 4/5 Explosive Substance Act but offences under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 336, 435, 427, 504 are bailable and except offences under Section 307 IPC and 5 Explosive Substances Act.
However, the Court took into account the statement of the Accused that he did not instruct the people to hurl bombs and pelt stones but when a mob gathered then it became uncontrolled, and thereafter he himself anyhow managed to escape from the spot.
The Court also observed that though the statements of the accused persons recorded before police are not admissible, however, as stated by the Apex Court in the case of Kalyan Chandra Sarkar Vs. Rajesh Ranjan @ Pappu Yadav and another 2004 (7) SCC 528, the same can be considered at the time of deciding the bail application.
"From the statements of the accused persons although, it appears that on the instigation of the applicant, they joined the mob and from the statement of the applicant it reflects that he told the people to gather after Friday prayer to show their unity and also told them be prepared for action of administration but from these statements, it could not be reflected that applicant either instigated or instructed them to commit violence. Further, neither in the FIR nor in the statement of any prosecution witnesses including the statement of police personnel, it has been alleged that applicant was either leading or he was instigating the people at the spot," the Court observed.
Consequently, taking into account the entire evidence available on record including the statements of prosecution witnesses and statements of the applicant and other accused persons recorded during the investigation, the Court came to the conclusion that it was a case of mob violence and at this stage, it can not be said that applicant was instrumental for such violence and that it can only be said that he was instrumental for such large gathering of people. The Court observed that he is in Jail since June 2022.
The Court also noted that all the offences maximum punishment is either of three years or of seven years and as there is no allegation that the applicant wa either having any bomb or he hurled any bomb or he caused any injury to police personnel, therefore, merely on the basis of the existence of Section 307 IPC and 4/5 Explosive Substances Act in the charge-sheet he can not be denied bail.
The Court also said that it appeared that due to the aggression and activeness of the applicant, people of his community gathered in large numbers and thereafter, the mob committed the violence, however, the applicant does not appear to be instrumental in such violence.
Lastly, the Court noted that in the FIR, a total of 14 persons were nominated including Mohammad and a number of such accused persons have already been released on bail by the co-ordinate bench of this Court and as per the allegation made in the FIR and in the statements of prosecution witnesses recorded during the investigation the case of the applicant is also at par with these accused persons. With this, his bail plea was allowed.
Significantly, the local authorities demolished Javed's house pursuant to this incident. Thereafter, a plea had been moved by the wife Javed Mohammad against the demolition of their house by the district administration and Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) on June 12.
Counsel for Applicant: Zaheer Asghar, Syed Ahmed Faizan, Sr. Advocate SFA Naqvi
Counsel for Opposite Party: G.A
Case title - Javed Mohammad @ Pump vs. State of U.P. [CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION No. - 53834 of 2022]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 43
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