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Most Accused Seen To Be Away From Protest Site : Delhi High Court Says Seeing Riots Case Video Footage

Shrutika Pandey
5 Aug 2021 1:00 PM GMT
Most Accused Seen To Be Away From Protest Site : Delhi High Court Says Seeing Riots Case Video Footage
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The Delhi High Court today continued hearing a batch of bail applications in North-East Delhi riots case. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for Delhi Police, told the Court that the violence did not occur in the spur of the moment but was a result of "meticulous planning".He stated that women and children were kept at the forefront of the mob, disabling police from taking any...

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The Delhi High Court today continued hearing a batch of bail applications in North-East Delhi riots case. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for Delhi Police, told the Court that the violence did not occur in the spur of the moment but was a result of "meticulous planning".

He stated that women and children were kept at the forefront of the mob, disabling police from taking any action against stone-pelting.

Justice Subramonium Prasad, on going through the footage, expressed that most of the accused have been identified in the mob pelting stones which is away from the protest site.

"Most of the accused in the instant matter are seen to be on the other side pelting stones and not a part of the protest where women and children were at the forefront. Therefore, when the stone-pelting started, the armed mob had not reached the women and children," Justice Prasad remarked.

Responding to this, ASG Raju said that stones were being pelted from both sides but, as the other side was more heavily crowded, the same cannot be made out in the video from the given angle.

He then pointed out the footage where a boy in a white shirt is seen pelting stones at the policemen. He added that this did not only create a law and order situation but put the security of police officers at risk who were mercilessly attacked by the armed rioters.

During the hearing, Justice Prasad also observed that the accused persons had undergone long detention. "16 month-jail is not trivial. They are not hardened criminals. They earn their livelihood through other simple means, some of them are tailors," the Judge remarked.

"A tailor can be a murderer or a terrorist. I am not saying all tailors are guilty. I have not arrested all tailors. You get the sympathy of being a tailor if you behave like a tailor, not like an arsonist. That sympathy vanishes. The sympathy has to be with the family of Ratan Lal, who died discharging his duty. These tailors were conducting secret meetings, putting code words for lathis and petrol bombs," ASG Raju responded

He added,

"If you lift their veil, you will see that they are the real anti-nationals..."

Earlier in the hearing, the ASG had relied on a catena of judgments to lay the yardstick for grant of bail in cases where charges under Section 302 (Murder) read with Section 149 (Unlawful Assembly) are made out.

He emphasized that the gravity of the offense is the primary criteria to look at, which is gathered from the severity of punishment prescribed. After the gravity is established, all other standards mentioned in the Gurucharan Singh & Ors vs State (Delhi Administration) judgment are to be looked at, he had contended.

"In addition to the tripod test, the gravity of the punishment is to be looked at where punishment is life imprisonment or death sentence," he added.

Justice Prasad had however asked the ASG whether the liberty of all the accused under Article 21 can be curtailed till the completion of the trial. 

The matter is posted on Friday, for rebuttal.

Case Title: Md. Arif v. State (BA 774/2021) and connected cases

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