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"His Identification Before Trial Court And This Court Is At Variance": Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Riots Accused

Nupur Thapliyal
25 May 2021 5:14 AM GMT
His Identification Before Trial Court And This Court Is At Variance: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Riots Accused
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Observing that the prosecution's assertions prima facie brings its case under cloud, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to a riots accused namely Mohd. Mansoor after opining that his identification before the Trial Court and the High Court was at variance. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail after observing thus: "Though this Court refrains...

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Observing that the prosecution's assertions prima facie brings its case under cloud, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to a riots accused namely Mohd. Mansoor after opining that his identification before the Trial Court and the High Court was at variance.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail after observing thus:

"Though this Court refrains from commenting upon the credibility of Mukesh (Constable) amidst trial, yet takes notice of the fact that the identification of petitioner by the prosecution before the trial court and this court is at variance. 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 prosecution is that petitioner had burnt his clothes to hide his identity and these facts, prima facie brings the case of prosecution under cloud."

An FIR was registered against Mansoor on February 25, 2020 in relation with the head constable Ratan Lal murder case under sec. 186, 353, 332, 333, 323, 109, 144, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 188, 336, 427, 307, 97, 412, 302, 201, 120-B and 34 IPC along with sec. 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, read with sec. 25, 27, 54 and 59 Arms Act,1959.

It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that Mansoor's name was not there in the FIR and the chargesheet including supplementary chargehseets. Furthermore, it was also submitted that Mansoor could be seen walking empty handed in the CCTV footage and that the prosecution itself was unable to identify who actually the accused is.

Furthermore, it was submitted that Mansoor was suffering from 'Acute Transient Psychotic Disorder' (ATPD) and he was admitted at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) from 19th December to 24th December 2019. In view of this, it was argued that during the time of alleged incident, he was suffering from the mental disorder.

On the other hand, it was the case of the prosecution that Mansoor was present where the alleged incident took place and that he actively participated in the riots, was part of the unlawful assembly and has been duly identified by Constable Mukesh. Furthermore, it was submitted that he was seen wearing a dark brown color Kurta with white check and yellow lower and that he, intention to destroy evidence, had destroyed his mobile phone and burnt his clothes.

After going through the CCTV footage on record, the Court opined that "there is no iota of doubt that petitioner was a part of mob, which had disturbed the peace and harmony of different communities by creating riots on 24.02.2021."

The Court also observed that the role attributed to the petitioner is being part of mob and of pelting stones on the police officials on duty.

However, on the aspect of identification of the petitioner, the Court took notice of the fact that the identification of petitioner by the prosecution before the trial court and this court is at variance .

On the plea of the petitioner suffering from a mental disorder, the Court observed thus:

"The fact remains that the ground of mental illness or fitness of petitioner is a matter of trial and if the person shown in the CCTV footage and video played before this Court is the petitioner, 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 and to stop them in performing their duties. However, nothing stops the parties to establish their case at trial."

Observing that the fourth chargesheet has been filed in the case and that Mansoor was behind bars since 19th November 2020, the Court opined that in view of these facts, "petitioner cannot be made to languish behind bars for an indefinite period of time."

"In view of the above, without commenting on the merits of the case, the petitioner is directed to be released on bail forthwith upon his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.20,000/- with one surety in the like amount, to the satisfaction of the Trial Court/ Duty Magistrate, while making it clear that any observation made herein shall not influence either side during trial." The Court ordered.

Title: Mohd. Mansoor v. State of NCT of Delhi

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